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The enactment of the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 ("EEA") was greeted with great fanfare as an unprecedented and broad federal attack on foreign and domestic trade secret misappropriation. Negligent, even inadvertent conversions of trade secrets seemed subject to criminal prosecution in the broad wake of the statute. The statute's draconian criminal penalties for individual and corporate offenders alike, coupled with its license to the Government to seek protective orders, civil injunctive relief, and forfeiture, were viewed as the preferred remedy for the victim of trade secret misappropriation. Yet the plain language of the threshold elements of EEA offenses, and the statute's restrained interpretation and application by the United States Department of Justice, reveal a statute more limited in prosecutorial scope, with its application bound by significant legal obstacles.


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19 Oct 2022
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  • Subject
    • Criminal Law

    • Intellectual Property Law

    • Trade Regulation

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Intellectual Property and Technology Forum

  • Volume
    • 1999

  • Pagination
    • 1-23

  • Date submitted

    19 October 2022

  • Related URL