Forgotten Provision in the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act: Uniformity

In Sister State Construction of UTSA on September 20, 2010 at 8:33 pm
Image by dawnzy58 via Flickr

California adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act in 1984 after the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws completed the UTSA in 1979.  Forty-six states and the District of Columbia have enacted trade secret legislation, the vast majority of which substantially resembles the uniform act.  Michael R. Greco writes a uselful reminder that the UTSA has an often overlooked uniform construction provision:

This Act shall be applied and construed to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law with respect to the subject of this Act among the states enacting it.

This section has been adopted by California.  Cal. Civ. Code § 3426.8.

Greco notes that this clause means that an advocate should look to sister state interpretations of the UTSA:

It means if you cannot find a case addressing a particular trade secret issue in your state, you should look to cases decided in other states. Still yet, even if you can find a case on point in your state, the statute provides legislative support to you if you wish to urge the court to follow the decisions of other states. This section of the statute can be of great help in those states where the body of available case law is underdeveloped.



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