Trade-secret misappropriation occurs when a trade secret is acquired by improper means or by an unauthorized disclosure of the trade secret. Improper means include:
  • Theft
  • Bribery
  • Misrepresentation
  • Breach or inducement to breach of a duty to maintain secrecy
  • Espionage
A court prevents disclosure of the trade secret by granting protective orders, holding in camera hearings, sealing the court records or ordering participants not to disclose the trade secret. Remedies for trade-secret misappropriation include:
  • Damages
  • Exemplary damages for willful or malicious misappropriation
  • Injunctive relief
  • Attorney’s fees
The Pennsylvania Uniform Trade Secret Act was enacted in a manner so that it does not affect other types of common law, statutory torts or criminal actions. Accordingly, an entity that has a claim for trade-secret misappropriation may have one or more of these other claims as well.

Other states have adopted versions of the Uniform Trade Secret Act that replace those torts. Accordingly, it is no longer possible to bring such “pre-empted” claims in those states.