Setting the Stage for a New Code of Commercial Conduct: The Criminalization of Trade Secret Theft

Hedi Nasheri, University of London

ABSTRACT
This presentation will examine several areas of intellectual property law under which criminal prosecutions are brought. An increase in intellectual property crimes, combined with the lack of deterrence associated with civil mechanisms, has led the federal government and most states to enact statutues with criminal provisions designed to prevent the theft of intellectual property rights. Criminal penalties imposed for the misappropriation of trade secrets are far more severe than any other crminal liability for violations of other intellectual property rights. Persons engaged in misappropriation in the U.S. no longer will have their liability limited to civil remedies and damages imposed for such misconduct. The recent changes are, in part, a response to the increased ease of transferring information by computer and in particular the Internet.

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Updated 05/20/2006