Dec. 11, 2020
Reprinted with permission from Law360
On Oct. 1, 2018, the Massachusetts Uniform Trade Secrets Act became effective, making Massachusetts one of the last states to adopt a version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. Accordingly, Massachusetts courts only recently began to interpret the statutory provisions.
In a case of first impression, on Oct. 29, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts found that the MUTSA does not preempt state law claims brought for theft of confidential and proprietary information.
The Massachusetts Legislature, like that of most other states, generally tracked the Uniform Trade Secrets Act when drafting the MUTSA. It defined a trade secret broadly to include specific information that provides economic advantage and is reasonably protected by the owner.
The statute also contains a preemption clause, stating that the MUTSA "supersede[s] any conflicting laws of the commonwealth providing civil remedies for the misappropriation of a trade secret." One of the four exceptions to the preemption clause is for "civil remedies to the extent that they are not based upon misappropriation of a trade secret."
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