Admittedly, when I think of “trade secrets,” I tend to think of multiples of, well, Trade Secret.
But in New Jersey, the “trade secrets” referred to an important piece of legislation, S-2456, which unanimously passed the Senate Commerce Committee on Monday.
Trade secrets aren’t the same as patents. For instance, you might patent a life-saving drug, but the New Jersey Trade Secrets Act might refer to the process behind its manufacture.
Under A-921/S-2456, a company or organization would be able to sue for damages or losses that result from someone taking proprietary information (a recipe, chemical formula, invention, intellectual property, etc.) and trying to profit from it by selling it or manufacturing it. If I take a secret recipe for a food item, sell it and make money from it, I would have to pay royalties to the company or person from whom I stole it.
A-921 passed the full Assembly in late 2010. Its Senate counterpart, however, was amended before being voted out of Committee, so the Assembly will need to vote on the amended version before it heads to the Governor’s desk.
New Jersey is, of course, among a minority of states which have not passed the Trade Secrets Act. More information about the Act can be found in the New Jersey Law Journal and on the Legislature’s homepage.
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