Arizona’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act
Regardless of whether a former employee is subject to a restrictive covenant, he or she must keep in mind Arizona’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act, codified in Arizona Revised Statutes (“A.R.S.) § 44-401 et seq. This Act prohibits the misappropriation of trade secrets.
A “trade secret” is defined as “information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique or process, that both:
(a) Derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use.
(b) Is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.
“Misappropriation” means either:
(a) Acquisition of a trade secret of another by a person who knows or has reason to know that the trade secret was acquired by improper means.
(b) Disclosure or use of a trade secret of another without express or implied consent by a person who either:
(i) Used improper means to acquire knowledge of the trade secret.
(ii) At the time of disclosure or use, knew or had reason to know that his knowledge of the trade secret was derived from or through a person who had utilized improper means to acquire it, was acquired under circumstances giving rise to a duty to maintain its secrecy or limit its use or was derived from or through a person who owed a duty to the person seeking relief to maintain its secrecy or limit its use.
(iii) Before a material change of his position, knew or had reason to know that it was a trade secret and that knowledge of it had been acquired by accident or mistake.
“Improper means” includes theft, bribery, misrepresentation, breach or inducement of a breach of a duty to maintain secrecy or espionage through electronic or other means.
If you believe that your employee or former employee has misappropriated your trade secrets or you have been accused of trade secret violations, Berk Law Group, P.C. may be able to help you. We have handled numerous trade secret cases involving a wide variety of businesses.
Contact us today.