This is a continuation of part 2, which can be found here.
Other Torts that are Similar to Trade-Secret Misappropriation
Many states recognize other types of torts that are similar to or related to trade-secret misappropriation. Some of these torts are characterizes as “tortious interference” actions, which can include tortious interference with existing contractual relations or tortious interference with prospective contractual relations.
Other claims include claims directed at breaches of fiduciary duty. Such claims can include claims directed to aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty.
Some states recognize a separate tort for the misappropriation, conversion or theft of confidential business information, which may not rise to the level of a trade secret.
Damages in such cases can be difficult to quantify. In some cases, courts will award lost profits. In other cases, courts will award damages based upon the market value of the information that was lost.
Breach of Contract Claims and Related Actions
Often, the defendants who commit these torts are subject to nondisclosure agreements or noncompetition covenants. In such cases, the claim can be characterized as a breach of contract case. In those cases, the underlying contracts can include liquidated damage provisions that set the amount of damages for a breach.
In some instances, an enforceable contract might not exist, so a plaintiff might rely upon a quasi-contract, promissory estoppel or unjust enrichment claim.