Raise your hand if your state has adopted a Uniform Trade Secrets Act — a law that affords companies an additional layer of protection by providing for civil remedies in cases of trade-secret theft by employees and others.
Not so fast, New Jersey.
Well, all that may be about to change. Details after the jump…
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Michael Booth of the New Jersey Law Journal reports here that the New Jersey Senate Commerce Committee has recommended passage of the New Jersey Trade Secrets Act, a copy of which you can find here. The bill, which is modeled on a draft by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, provides for both legal relief (damages for actual loss an unjust enrichment, punitive damages, attorney’s fees) in the event of an actual misappropriation of trade secrets and injunctive relief should there be an actual or threatened misappropriation.
The New Jersey Law Journal reports that a full-senate vote could come as soon as Monday.
Until this law passes, NJ businesses should continue to make sure that their services agreements contain clear language governing trade secrets and other confidential information. Assuming the law eventually passes, it remains just as important for companies doing business in NJ to define what may constitute proprietary information, especially if that definition is broader than the “trade secret” definition found in the statute. Either way — whether the bill passes or not — it remains important for a business to continue to take reasonable efforts to maintain the secrecy of any information that it deems confidential.