"Recent Amendment to the Economic Espionage Act Extends Protection Against Misappropriation"

On December 28, 2012, President Obama enacted the Theft of Trade Secrets Clarification Act of 2012. The Act clarifies the scope of Section 1832 of the Economic Espionage Act and attempts to reverse the Second Circuit’s recent decision in U.S. v. Aleynikov. Most significantly, the Act clarifies that the EEA protects wholly internal proprietary information if the information relates to products or services that are used in interstate or foreign commerce.

Economic Espionage Act of 1996 -

The Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (EEA), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1831-39, protects proprietary economic information by making certain types of trade secret misappropriation federal crimes.

Congress enacted the EEA to provide “a systematic approach to the problem of economic espionage.” The EEA was designed to reflect the increasing importance of “intangible assets” like trade secrets in the “high-technology, information age,” as well as the growing threat posed by the theft of such proprietary information and the inadequacy of existing federal laws to protect trade secrets. H.R. Rep. No. 104-788, at 4 7 (1996); see also S. Rep. No. 104-359, at 6-11 (1996).

Please see full memorandum below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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