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Economic Espionage Act (EEA)

What is the Economic Espionage Act (EEA)

EEA is the Economic Espionage Act. It was designed by Congress with the goal of making misappropriation of trade secrets a federal crime. It is extremely important to make this law a key component in your disposal process or your business could face some pretty significant penalties otherwise.

Who is subject to EEA compliance?

The new law requires both businesses and employees to take immediate measures to protect themselves from non-compliance, and from falling victim to this crime. Due to the fact that this is a criminal law, the cost of making a mistake could potentially lead to jail time. U.S. organizations are well informed, both from an offensive and defensive viewpoint to recognize and understand exactly how the EEA is being enforced and to ensure that they never violate its requirements. It’s important that companies also take adequate measures to make sure that their own trade secrets remain secure and protected.

What are my Rights Under EEA?

Section 1839 of the EEA states that the owner of a trade secret must take reasonable measures to keep the information protected. While such measures will differ depending on the circumstance, such measures may mean advising employees of the trade secret nature of the information, mandating employees and other recipients to sign confidentiality agreements, marking documents confidential, limiting access to a “need-to-know” basis or a sign-out basis only, and storing trade secret information in a secured, protected facility.

Who does EEA Protect?

The Economic Espionage Act help victims of Economic Espionage protect their trade secrets. The Act contains a unique provision to safeguard the disclosure of trade secret information during the criminal justice process.

Why is EEA Important?

The Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (the “EEA”) makes it a federal crime to obtain, download, receive or possess trade secret information that is taken without the owner’s consent. If an employee or contractor working for your business allegedly has trade secret information without authorization, you could face legal penalties that result in fines close to $10 million. Furthermore, you may have to forfeit to the US government any property, such as computer equipment, used to perform or carry out the commission of the EEA violation.

Where can I find more information about The Economic Espionage Act?

To learn more, visit this link: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/economic_espionage

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