On December 18, 2012, Congress approved an amendment to the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) to cover service-related trade secrets and relax the interstate-commerce jurisdictional requirement. The amendment just approved by Congress expands liability in two ways. First, the amendment criminalizes the theft of service-related trade secrets, regardless of whether they are related to a physical product offered for sale. Specifically, the EEA now covers trade secrets “related to a product or service” and thereby closes the loop on the exception the Second Circuit relied upon in the Aleynikov matter.  Second, the amendment relaxes the language of the statute’s interstate or foreign commerce requirement. Prior to the Amendment, the EEA required that the product to which the trade secret related must be “produced for” or “placed in” interstate or foreign commerce. The amendment changes that language to require merely that the product or service to which the trade secret relates be “used in” or “intended for use in” interstate or foreign commerce.

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