[author: Ashley Shaw, XpertHR Legal Editor]
The US Senate recently approved the Theft of Trade Secrets Clarification Act (TTSCA) in an effort to eradicate a loophole brought to life in a recent Second Circuit case, US vs. Aleynikov, +676 F.3d 71. The new Act is intended to be an improvement on the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (EEA).
Under the TTSCA, the definition of interstate commerce is more inclusive in regards to trade secrets. Now, a trade secret that is intended or actually used in interstate commerce is protected, as opposed to the EEA that only protected trade secrets when the product was produced for interstate commerce.
The difference between the laws can be seen when viewing the Aleynikov case. In Aleynikov, the employee took software code from his office in New York, uploaded it onto a server in Germany, downloaded it at his home in New Jersey and sent it to his new computer at his new place of employment in Illinois.
Under the EEA, Aleynikov won on appeal because the software was not produced for interstate commerce, thus taking it outside of the dictates of the law. TTSCA should erase such results by making the actual use of the product in interstate commerce a criminal offense regardless of the actual production purpose.
Keep Trade Secrets Confidential
Recruiting and Hiring > Terms of Employment
Workplace Security > Intellectual Property
Employee Discipline > Suspected Workplace Theft
Employee Communications > Minimizing Communication Theft