2021 Georgia Code
Title 10 - Commerce and Trade
Chapter 1 - Selling and Other Trade Practices
Article 27 - Trade Secrets
§ 10-1-761. Definitions

Universal Citation: GA Code § 10-1-761 (2021)

As used in this article, the term:

  1. "Improper means" includes theft, bribery, misrepresentation, breach or inducement of a breach of a confidential relationship or other duty to maintain secrecy or limit use, or espionage through electronic or other means. Reverse engineering of a trade secret not acquired by misappropriation or independent development shall not be considered improper means.
  2. "Misappropriation" means:
    1. Acquisition of a trade secret of another by a person who knows or has reason to know that the trade secret was acquired by improper means; or
    2. Disclosure or use of a trade secret of another without express or implied consent by a person who:
      1. Used improper means to acquire knowledge of a trade secret;
      2. At the time of disclosure or use, knew or had reason to know that knowledge of the trade secret was:
    3. Derived from or through a person who had utilized improper means to acquire it;
    4. Acquired under circumstances giving rise to a duty to maintain its secrecy or limit its use; or
    5. Derived from or through a person who owed a duty to the person seeking relief to maintain its secrecy or limit its use; or
      1. Before a material change of position, knew or had reason to know that it was a trade secret and that knowledge of it had been acquired by accident or mistake.
  3. "Person" means a natural person, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, joint venture, government, governmental subdivision or agency, or any other for profit or not for profit legal or commercial entity.
  4. "Trade secret" means information, without regard to form, including, but not limited to, technical or nontechnical data, a formula, a pattern, a compilation, a program, a device, a method, a technique, a drawing, a process, financial data, financial plans, product plans, or a list of actual or potential customers or suppliers which is not commonly known by or available to the public and which information:
    1. Derives economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and
    2. Is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.

(Code 1981, §10-1-761, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1560, § 1; Ga. L. 1996, p. 894, § 1.)

Law reviews.

- For article, "Application of the 'Inevitable Disclosure' Doctrine in Georgia," see 4 Ga. St. B. J. 58 (1999). For survey article on labor and employment law, see 59 Mercer L. Rev. 233 (2007). For article, "Must Government Contractors 'Submit' to Their Own Destruction?: Georgia's Trade Secret Disclosure Exemption and United HealthCare of Georgia, Inc. v. Georgia Department of Community Health," see 60 Mercer L. Rev. 825 (2009). For article, "Avoiding the Potholes: A Roadmap for Intellectual Property Due Diligence in Business Transactions," see 14 Ga. St. B. J. 17 (2008). For article, "Keeping Your Genies in the Bottle: 10 Steps to Protect Your Most Sensitive Secrets," see 14 Ga. St. B. J. 32 (2008). For annual survey of labor and employment law, see 61 Mercer L. Rev. 213 (2009). For article, "Eleventh Circuit Survey: January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2013: Article: Intellectual Property," see 65 Emory L. J. 1049 (2014).



  • General Consideration
  • Evidence
  • Application
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