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18-4-408. Theft of trade secrets - penalty


(1) Any person who, with intent to deprive or withhold from the owner thereof the control of a trade secret, or with an intent to appropriate a trade secret to his own use or to the use of another, steals or discloses to an unauthorized person a trade secret, or, without authority, makes or causes to be made a copy of an article representing a trade secret, commits theft of a trade secret.

(2) As used in this section:

(a) Article means any object, material, device, or substance, or copy thereof, including any writing, record, recording, drawing, sample, specimen, prototype, model, photograph, microorganism, blueprint, or map.

(b) Copy means any facsimile, replica, photograph, or other reproduction of an article, and any note, drawing, or sketch made of or from an article.

(c) Representing means describing, depicting, containing, constituting, reflecting, or recording.

(d) 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.


(3) (a) Theft of a trade secret is a class 1 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent offense under this section committed within five years after the date of a prior conviction is a class 5 felony.

(b) Notwithstanding section 16-5-401 (1)(a), C.R.S., any prosecution for violation of this section shall be commenced within three years after discovery of the offense.


Source: L. 71: R&RE, p. 430, 1. C.R.S. 1963: 40-4-408. L. 89: (3) amended, p. 833, 46, effective July 1. L. 98: (3) amended, p. 156, 1, effective July 1.


Cross references: For the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, see article 74 of title 7.


Law reviews. For article, Trade Secret Litigation: Injunctions and Other Equitable Remedies, see 48 U. Colo. L. Rev. 189 . For article, Protecting Technical Information: The Role of the General Practitioner, see 12 Colo. Law. 1215 (1983). For article, Help for Colorado Trade Secret Owners, see 15 Colo. Law. 1993 (1986). For article, The Law of Trade Secrecy and Covenants Not to Compete in Colorado-Part I, see 30 Colo. Law. 7 (April 2001). For article, Computer Security and Privacy: The Third Wave of Property Law, see 33 Colo. Law. 57 (Feb. 2004).