Attorneys Robert W. Smith and Christopher J. Eibeler

New Jersey Trade Secrets Act

New Jersey law protects employers from prohibiting former employees from misappropriating trade secrets. In 2012, the New Jersey legislature enacted the New Jersey Trade Secrets Act, N.J.S.A. 56:15-1 et. seq., that sets forth a statutory framework and specified penalties imposed on those who violate the statute.

The New Jersey Trade Secrets Act defines trade secrets broadly as “information, held by one or more people, without regard to form, including a formula, pattern, business data compilation, program, device, method, technique, design, diagram, drawing, invention, plan, procedure, or process, that: derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being either generally known to, and not being readily accessible by proper means by other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.” The New Jersey Trade Secrets Act not only prohibits actual misappropriation of a trade secret, but also permits an employer from seeking court redress with the misappropriation that is being threatened. In these circumstances, the employer can seek and obtain an order from the Court to protect a trade secret from being disseminated. An employer need not show actual harm by the threatened or actual misappropriation.

The damages and equitable relief available under the New Jersey Trade Secret Act are expansive and significant. If an employer seeks injunctive relief for violating the statute, the Court may order that an injunction to continue for a reasonable period of time in order to eliminate any commercial advantage caused by the misappropriation. An employer may be awarded actual damages suffered from the unlawful misappropriation or any unjust enrichment obtained by the liable party. A Court may also award reasonable attorney fees and punitive damages in an amount not to exceed twice of the total award for actual damages and unjust enrichment if it finds the liable party to have acted willfully and maliciously. A Court may also, in exceptional circumstances, condition the future use of a trade secret upon payment of a reasonable royalty for the period of time for which the use of the trade secret could have been prohibited.

If you are being accused of violating the New Jersey Trade Secrets Act, you should take immediate steps to retain an experienced New Jersey business litigation lawyer to represent your interests. If you have questions or concerns about your liability under the New Jersey Trade Secrets Act, please feel free to contact one of our New Jersey Employment Lawyers to discuss the specific facts and circumstances of your situation.

DISCLAIMER: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.
Client Reviews
We had a wrongful termination issue combined with a denial of unemployment insurance. Chris Eibeler was our primary attorney. His partner Bob Smith also consulted and gave us good advice. They were both so kind, caring, and professional. They guided us though a very tough time and a positive outcome versus a prior employer. They were also able to reverse our denial of unemployment insurance. I cannot recommend Smith and Eibeler highly enough. The entire staff is very professional, personable, and caring. Tom Wilson
I went to Smith Eibeler LLC for a last minute unemployment matter. Chris, Diane and his staff were very professional and easy to talk to. They provided knowledgeable insight and also kept me in the loop with the what was happening. I would not hesitate to go to him again. John Jung
Chris Eibeler (and the whole team) is very knowledgeable in all aspects of employment/unemployment here in NJ. They break down the most difficult aspects of the law, which allows you to conceptualize and better understand the complexities of the NJ Labor & Employment system. Smith Eibeler should be your first call regarding any Employment, workforce, or Labor questions here in New Jersey. I highly recommend them. Brian Allen
I approached Chris Eibeler regarding an unemployment case in early 2016. Him and his staff are some of the most professional people I have ever dealt with. The process took a while, but his approach to hard questioning helped me win my case. He knows how to get the job done and I am glad I went to him. I would recommend him to anyone in the future who asks for a lawyer. Thank you Chris! Tim F.
I highly recommend the office of Smith Eibeler for employment related issues, particularly anything related to restrictive covenants or post-employment contracts. I found Smith Eibeler via the web and cannot believe how fortunate I am to have found them. My case was handled by Bob Smith who represented me in a potential lawsuit by my former employer for violation of a post-employment contract (not a restrictive covenant per se). Bob was professional, friendly, understanding, and above all extremely helpful. Bob helped me avoid a lawsuit and was extremely knowledgeable in this field. I was thoroughly impressed with his prowess. Hopefully I will never have a legal issue related to employment again, but if I do, I will not hesitate to retain Smith Eibeler again! Gavin Tully