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Legislative Memo

518.465.7511

BILL:

S.3000A (Alesi) - A.5954A(Schimminger)

  Support

SUBJECT:

Uniform Trade Secrets

 

DATE:

June 19, 2001

 

The Business Council of New York State, Inc., an organization representing over 4,000 member companies, chambers of commerce, and regional associations, has reviewed the aforementioned legislation and supports its enactment. This legislation will provide improved trade secret protection to industry.

In our increasingly knowledge-based economy, information and new technologies are critical to the growth and success of companies in New York State. In order to maintain this growth, there is a need to protect and promote the fruits of intellectual labor to ensure continued job creation.

New York State is one of the six states that has not enacted a comprehensive trade secret statute. Rather, New York relies on common law principles derived from the first Restatement of Torts published 60 years ago to determine the existence of a trade secret.

Traditionally, intellectual property was protected primarily by federal patent and copyright law and procedures. However, unlike patent law, the law of trade secrets has been a common law development. The result of this evolution is a lack of uniformity and the insufficient acknowledgment of modern trade secret issues.

This legislation addresses these problems by codifying the basic principles of common law trade secret protection by integrating the generally accepted principles of trade secret law. It clarifies the rights and remedies available to owners of trade secrets by granting both injunctive relief and damages when a trade secret has been misappropriated. Further this clarifies the common law by providing precise definitions of fundamental concepts.

Without clear, comprehensive and uniform rules regarding the protection of trade secrets, firms and entrepreneurs in New York whose economic viability rests in large part upon their possessions, development and promotion of technology and information will find themselves at risk.

For these reasons, The Business Council supports this legislation and urges its enactment into law.