2010 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 943. Crimes against property.
943.205 Theft of trade secrets.


943.205 Theft of trade secrets.


(1) Whoever with intent to deprive or withhold from the owner thereof the control of a trade secret, or with intent to appropriate a trade secret to his or her own use or the use of another not the owner, and without authority of the owner, does any of the following may be penalized as provided in sub. (3):


(a) Takes, uses, transfers, conceals, exhibits or retains possession of property of the owner representing a trade secret.


(b) Makes or causes to be made a copy of property of the owner representing a trade secret.


(c) Obtains title to property representing a trade secret or a copy of such property by intentionally deceiving the owner with a false representation which is known to be false, made with intent to defraud, and which does defraud the person to whom it is made. "False representation" includes a promise made with intent not to perform if it is a part of a false and fraudulent scheme.


(2) In this section:


(a) "Copy" means any facsimile, replica, photograph or other reproduction of any property and any notation, drawing or sketch made of or from any property.


(b) "Owner" includes a co-owner of the person charged and a partnership of which the person charged is a member, unless the person charged and the victim are husband and wife.


(c) "Property" includes without limitation because of enumeration any object, material, device, substance, writing, record, recording, drawing, sample, specimen, prototype, model, photograph, micro-organism, blueprint or map, or any copy thereof.


(d) "Representing" means disclosing, embodying, describing, depicting, containing, constituting, reflecting or recording.


(e) "Trade secret" has the meaning specified in s. 134.90 (1) (c).


(3) Anyone who violates this section is guilty of a Class I felony.


(4) In a prosecution for a violation of this section it shall be no defense that the person charged returned or intended to return the property involved or that the person charged destroyed all copies made.


(5) This section does not prevent anyone from using skills and knowledge of a general nature gained while employed by the owner of a trade secret.

943.205 - ANNOT.

History: 1977 c. 173; 1983 a. 189; 1985 a. 236; 1993 a. 213, 486; 1997 a. 254; 2001 a. 109.

943.205 - ANNOT.

An insurance agency's customer list was not a trade secret. Corroon & Black v. Hosch, 109 Wis. 2d 290, 325 N.W.2d 883 (1982).

943.205 - ANNOT.

Pricing policies, cost markups, and the amount of a company's bid for a particular project were not trade secrets. Wisconsin Electric Power Co. v. PSC, 110 Wis. 2d 530, 329 N.W.2d 178 (1983).

943.205 - ANNOT.

21st Century White Collar Crime: Intellectual Property Crimes in the Cyber World. Simon & Jones. Wis. Law. Oct. 2004.

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