On Monday, January 9, 2012, Governor Chris Christie signed into the law the New Jersey Trade Secrets Act (NJTSA, http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2010/Bills/S2500/2456_R1.HTM), the Garden State’s version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA). New Jersey, thus, becomes the forty-seventh state to adopt some form of UTSA. While the New Jersey Act will promote some level of uniformity in the approach to trade secrets issues, New Jersey specific changes to the uniform act promise that this statute will build upon, rather than depart from, New Jersey’s common law tradition of protection of trade secrets and other valuable business information.

Some New Jersey specific points in the legislation:

• The definition of “trade secret” under NJTSA is broader than under UTSA, as NJTSA incorporates the broader protections of New Jersey common law principles;

• NJTSA supplements, rather than displaces, New Jersey common law, as the statute states that the rights, remedies, and prohibitions under NJTSA “are in addition to and cumulative of any other rights, remedies, or prohibitions provided under common law or statutory law of this State”;

• NJTSA prohibits acquisitions of the trade secrets of another by “improper means,” and contains definitions of that term and “proper means” not found in UTSA;

• NJTSA makes mere or threatened acquisition by improper means of another’s trade secret actionable, and enjoinable, even if there is no concomitant likelihood of disclosure to or use by third party.

These NJTSA-specific provisions combine with UTSA’s allowing for recovery of attorneys’ fees and punitive damages to provide the holders of trade secrets a powerful new tool in New Jersey. Those who helped frame, over a multi-year time period, the bill as adopted in New Jersey included its sponsors, employer groups, and the New Jersey Law Revision Commission and its legal advisors, including the author of this post.

Back to Trade Secrets & Employee Mobility Blog

Search This Blog

Blog Editors


Related Services



Jump to Page


Sign up to receive an email notification when new Trade Secrets & Employee Mobility posts are published:

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.