Colorado Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Last Modified: 

C.R.S. §§ 7-74-101 through 7-74-110 (2011)

§ 7-74-101. Short title.

This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Uniform Trade Secrets Act".

§ 7-74-102. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Improper means" includes theft, bribery, misrepresentation, breach or inducement of a breach of a duty to maintain secrecy, or espionage through electronic or other means.

(2) "Misappropriation" means:

(a) 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

(b) Disclosure or use of a trade secret of another without express or implied consent by a person who:

(I) Used improper means to acquire knowledge of the trade secret; or

(II) At the time of disclosure or use, knew or had reason to know that such person's knowledge of the trade secret was:

(A) Derived from or through a person who had utilized improper means to acquire it;

(B) Acquired under circumstances giving rise to a duty to maintain its secrecy or limit its use; or

(C) Derived from or through a person who owed a duty to the person seeking relief to maintain its secrecy or limit its use; or

(III) Before a material change of such person's 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(3) Repealed.

(4) "Trade secret" means the whole or any portion or phase of any scientific or technical information, design, process, procedure, formula, improvement, confidential business or financial information, listing of names, addresses, or telephone numbers, or other information relating to any business or profession which is secret and of value.To be a "trade secret" the owner thereof must have taken measures to prevent the secret from becoming available to persons other than those selected by the owner to have access thereto for limited purposes.

§ 7-74-103. Injunctive relief.

Temporary and final injunctions including affirmative acts may be granted on such equitable terms as the court deems reasonable to prevent or restrain actual or threatened misappropriation of a trade secret.

§ 7-74-104. Damages.

(1) Except to the extent that a material and prejudicial change of position prior to acquiring knowledge or reason to know of misappropriation renders a monetary recovery inequitable, a complainant is entitled to recover damages for misappropriation. Damages may include both the actual loss caused by misappropriation and the unjust enrichment caused by misappropriation that is not taken into account in computing actual loss. In lieu of damages measured by any other methods, the damages caused by misappropriation may be measured by imposition of liability for a reasonable royalty for a misappropriator's unauthorized disclosure or use of a trade secret.

(2) If the misappropriation is attended by circumstances of fraud, malice, or a willful and wanton disregard of the injured party's right and feelings, the court or the jury may award exemplary damages in an amount not exceeding the award made under subsection (1) of this section.

§ 7-74-105. Attorney fees.

If a claim of misappropriation is made in bad faith, a motion to terminate an injunction is made or resisted in bad faith, or willful and malicious misappropriation exists, the court may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party.

§ 7-74-106. Preservation of secrecy.

In an action under this article, a court shall preserve the secrecy of an alleged trade secret by reasonable means, which may include granting protective orders in connection with discovery proceedings, holding in-camera hearings, sealing the records of the action, and ordering any person involved in the litigation not to disclose an alleged trade secret without prior court approval.

§ 7-74-107. Statute of limitations.

An action for misappropriation of a trade secret shall be brought within three years after the misappropriation is discovered or by the exercise of reasonable diligence should have been discovered. For the purposes of this section, a continuing misappropriation constitutes a single claim.

§ 7-74-108. Effect on other law.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, this article displaces conflicting tort, restitutionary, and other law of this state providing civil remedies for misappropriation of a trade secret.

(2) This article does not affect:

(a) Contractual remedies, whether or not based upon misappropriation of a trade secret;

(b) Other civil remedies that are not based upon misappropriation of a trade secret; or

(c) Criminal remedies, whether or not based upon misappropriation of a trade secret.

§ 7-74-109. Uniformity of application and construction.

This article shall be applied and construed to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law with respect to the subject of this article among states enacting it.

§ 7-74-110. Severability.

If any provision of this article or its application to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the article which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this article are severable.