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What laws govern trade secrets?

Trade secrets, unlike most other forms of intellectual property, are not really protected by federal law. While there are some federal laws relating particularly to computer and technical trade secrets (such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (18 U.S.C. ss 1831- 1839) and the Digital Copyright Millennium Act), trade secret law is mainly a state issue.

Most states have their own laws addressing trade secrets, including what constitutes a trade secret and what protection you get from having a trade secret. More than 40 states have adopted some form or variation of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (the “UTSA”), and while there are minor difference from state to state, the majority of each state’s trade secret law comes from the UTSA and is therefore very similar.