Statutory Law - US Code - Title 18: Chapter 90: Protection of Trade Secrets

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U.S. Code Title 18: Crimes and Criminal Procedure

Chapter 90: Protection of Trade Secrets

*Current through Public Law 112-173, August 16th, 2012.
**Selected Provisions Relevant to U.S. Intelligence Law


18 USC § 1831. Economic espionage

(a) In General.—Whoever, intending or knowing that the offense will benefit any foreign government, foreign instrumentality, or foreign agent, knowingly—
(1) steals, or without authorization appropriates, takes, carries away, or conceals, or by fraud, artifice, or deception obtains a trade secret;
(2) without authorization copies, duplicates, sketches, draws, photographs, downloads, uploads, alters, destroys, photocopies, replicates, transmits, delivers, sends, mails, communicates, or conveys a trade secret;
(3) receives, buys, or possesses a trade secret, knowing the same to have been stolen or appropriated, obtained, or converted without authorization;
(4) attempts to commit any offense described in any of paragraphs (1) through (3); or
(5) conspires with one or more other persons to commit any offense described in any of paragraphs (1) through (3), and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy,

shall, except as provided in subsection (b), be fined not more than $500,000 or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.
(b) Organizations.—Any organization that commits any offense described in subsection (a) shall be fined not more than $10,000,000.
(Added Pub. L. 104–294, title I, §101(a), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3488.)

18 USC § 1837. Applicability to conduct outside the United States

This chapter also applies to conduct occurring outside the United States if—
(1) the offender is a natural person who is a citizen or permanent resident alien of the United States, or an organization organized under the laws of the United States or a State or political subdivision thereof; or
(2) an act in furtherance of the offense was committed in the United States.
(Added Pub. L. 104–294, title I, §101(a), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3490.)

18 USC § 1839. Definitions

As used in this chapter—
(1) the term “foreign instrumentality” means any agency, bureau, ministry, component, institution, association, or any legal, commercial, or business organization, corporation, firm, or entity that is substantially owned, controlled, sponsored, commanded, managed, or dominated by a foreign government;
(2) the term “foreign agent” means any officer, employee, proxy, servant, delegate, or representative of a foreign government;
(3) the term “trade secret” means all forms and types of financial, business, scientific, technical, economic, or engineering information, including patterns, plans, compilations, program devices, formulas, designs, prototypes, methods, techniques, processes, procedures, programs, or codes, whether tangible or intangible, and whether or how stored, compiled, or memorialized physically, electronically, graphically, photographically, or in writing if—
(A) the owner thereof has taken reasonable measures to keep such information secret; and
(B) the information derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable through proper means by, the public; and

(4) the term “owner”, with respect to a trade secret, means the person or entity in whom or in which rightful legal or equitable title to, or license in, the trade secret is reposed.
(Added Pub. L. 104–294, title I, §101(a), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3490.)