Jump to Navigation

Theft of Trade Secrets

Trade Secrets Theft Laws

Trade secrets can be in the form of patents, business practices or formulas, and methods of conducting business of which a business has an interest in keeping from the public. Trade secrets might most easily be thought of as things such as the secret recipe for Coca-Cola or Kentucky Fried Chicken. While these may seem somewhat silly at first, trade secrets once in the open cannot ever be brought back. Economic espionage is ongoing and pervasive. Sometimes former or disgruntled employees who were privy to trade secrets will sell those to competitors or foreign governments for profit or out of spite.

The United States Attorney's Office treats the theft or misappropriation of trade secrets seriously. Individuals can receive up to 15 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, while corporations who engage or benefit from these crimes can be fined $10,000,000.00.

Below is a list of the statutes in the United States Code which govern theft of trade secrets. If you are facing these charges in Florida or Georgia federal courts, contact the law office of Arnold Law Firm for a consultation regarding your legal rights and potential liabilities.

18 U.S.C. § 1831. Economic espionage

(a) In General.- Whoever, intending or knowing that the offense will benefit any foreign government, foreign instrumentality, or foreign agent, knowingly-
(1) steals, or without authorization appropriates, takes, carries away, or conceals, or by fraud, artifice, or deception obtains a trade secret;
(2) without authorization copies, duplicates, sketches, draws, photographs, downloads, uploads, alters, destroys, photocopies, replicates, transmits, delivers, sends, mails, communicates, or conveys a trade secret;
(3) receives, buys, or possesses a trade secret, knowing the same to have been stolen or appropriated, obtained, or converted without authorization;
(4) attempts to commit any offense described in any of paragraphs (1) through (3); or
(5) conspires with one or more other persons to commit any offense described in any of paragraphs (1) through (3), and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, shall, except as provided in subsection (b), be fined not more than $500,000 or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.
(b) Organizations.- Any organization that commits any offense described in subsection (a) shall be fined not more than $10,000,000.

18. U.S.C. § 1832. Theft of trade secrets

(a) Whoever, with intent to convert a trade secret, that is related to or included in a product that is produced for or placed in interstate or foreign commerce, to the economic benefit of anyone other than the owner thereof, and intending or knowing that the offense will, injure any owner of that trade secret, knowingly-
(1) steals, or without authorization appropriates, takes, carries away, or conceals, or by fraud, artifice, or deception obtains such information;(2) without authorization copies, duplicates, sketches, draws, photographs, downloads, uploads, alters, destroys, photocopies, replicates, transmits, delivers, sends, mails, communicates, or conveys such information; (3) receives, buys, or possesses such information, knowing the same to have been stolen or appropriated, obtained, or converted without authorization; (4) attempts to commit any offense described in paragraphs (1) through (3); or (5) conspires with one or more other persons to commit any offense described in paragraphs (1) through (3), and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, shall, except as provided in subsection (b), be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.
(b) Any organization that commits any offense described in subsection (a) shall be fined not more than $5,000,000.

Statutes above are up to date from http://www.law.cornell.edu/ as of October 1, 2009.

Contact Us Today

Fill out the form to contact Arnold Law Firm. Do not let the stress of legal problems overtake your life. Contact us for the help you need from an experienced criminal law and family law attorney.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

  • Shawn A Arnold Online At Super Lawyers
  • Flor The Florida Bar Board Certified

Arnold Law Firm

Florida address:

6279 Dupont Station Court
Jacksonville, FL 32217

Phone: 904-731-3800
Fax: 904-731-3807

E-mail Us | Map & Directions

Georgia address:

1801 Glouchester Street,
Suite C,
Brunswick, GA 31520

Phone: 912-638-1121