Economic Espionage Act of 1996The Economic Espionage Act of 1996 provides new legal tools to prosecute those who commit economic espionage by stealing trade secrets. The term trade secret refers to all forms and types of financial, business, scientific, technical, economic or engineering information, including patterns, plans, compilations, program devices, formulas, designs, prototypes, methods, techniques, processes, procedures, programs, or codes, whether tangible or intangible and whether or how stored, compiled, or memorialized physically, electronically, graphically, photographically, or in writing.
Will The Federal Government Protect Your Business Under E.E.A.?It can. But it doesn't cover you without your effort. These are the two additional requirements for the EEA to apply to your business.
Section 1839. Definitions – (3) the term 'trade secret' means all forms and types of financial, business, scientific, technical, economic, or engineering information, including patterns, plans, compilations, program devices, formulas, designs, prototypes, methods, techniques, processes, procedures, programs, or codes, whether tangible or intangible, and whether or how stored, compiled, or memorialized physically, electronically, graphically, photographically, or in writing if – (A) the owner thereof has taken reasonable measures to keep such information secret; and (B) the information derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable through proper means by, the public.
What To Do?There are no compliance requirements. However, if a company wants to prosecute under the EEA, the company must report its suspicions to the FBI. You must also prove 'reasonable measures' were taken to keep your information secret. That also applies to discarded information.
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Economic Espionage Act of 1996http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-104publ294/content-detail.html
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