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60-3320. Definitions. As used in this act, unless the context requires otherwise:

(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:

(i) 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

(ii) disclosure or use of a trade secret of another without express or implied consent by a person who

(A) used improper means to acquire knowledge of the trade secret; or

(B) at the time of disclosure or use, knew or had reason to know that his knowledge of the trade secret was

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

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

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

(C) before a material change of his 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 legal or commercial entity.

(4) "Trade secret" means information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process, that:

(i) derives independent 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

(ii) is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.

History: L. 1981, ch. 214, ยง 1; July 1.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"Litigating Noncompetition Agreements in Kansas," Steven D. Ruse, 55 J.K.B.A., No. 3, 28, 30 (1986).

"Protecting intellectual property rights in the workplace," James B. Wadley and Jo Lynn M. Brown, 68 J.K.B.A. No. 8, 28 (1999).

"The Road Ahead: 'Kansas Noncompete Agreements - An Updated Overview'," John Vering and David Jermann, 77 J.K.B.A. No. 1, 22 (2008).

"Litigating Noncompete Agreements: A Strategic Guide for Kansas Practitioners," Steven D. Ruse and Kelly D. Stohs, K.D.J. Winter (2008).

"Employees' Misappropriation of Electronic Data: Federal and Kansas Computer Tampering Acts," John Vering and Jeffrey L. Schultz, 80 J.K.B.A. No. 5, 16 (2011).

Attorney General's Opinions:

KOMA-Confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets. 88-148.

Insurance department may, but is not required to, refuse to provide copies of materials that are copyrighted; burden on the department to show that the records that are the subject of request are protected by copyright. 2010-17.


1. Cited; failure to provide private remedies in Kansas Uniform Trade Practices Act (40-2401 et seq.) implies no private remedy intended. Earth Scientists v. United States Fidelity Ex Guar., 619 F.Supp. 1465, 1471 (1985).

2. Cited; allegations necessary to state claim for misappropriation of trade secrets examined. NL Industries, Inc. v. Gulf & Western Industries, 650 F.Supp. 1115, 1133 (1986).

3. Cited; long arm statute (60-308) applied where nonresident employer and employees did business in Kansas. Volt Delta Resources, Inc. v. Devine, 241 K. 775, 781, 740 P.2d 1089 (1987).

4. Technology was part of design proposal developed while under contract and was not acquired by improper means. Edo Corp. v. Beech Aircraft Corp., 715 F.Supp. 990 (1988).

5. Whether material issue of fact existed as to misappropriation of trade secrets precluded summary judgment examined. All West Pet Supply v. Hill's Pet Products, 840 F.Supp. 1433, 1437 (1993).

6. Cited; whether trial court lacked personal jurisdiction because out-of-state service by corporation was invalid examined. In re Marriage of Welliver, 254 K. 801, 804, 869 P.2d 653 (1994).

7. Issue concerning whether customer and pricing information allegedly misappropriated was trade secret precluded summary judgment. Curtis 1000, Inc. v. Pierce, 905 F.Supp. 898, 901 (1995).

8. Plaintiff entitled to preliminary injunction preventing defendant from using plaintiff's customer lists in competing business. State ex rel. Graves v. U.S., 86 F.Supp.2d 1094, 1106 (2000).

9. Plaintiff failed to establish trade secret misappropriation claim. Biocore, Inc., v. Khosrowshahi, 96 F.Supp.2d 1221, 1224 (2000).

10. Plaintiff's breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation claims were preempted by copyright law. Evolution, Inc. v. Suntrust Bank, 342 F.Supp.2d 943, 961 (2004).

11. Plaintiff failed to establish trade secret status of information allegedly misappropriated by competitor. Dodson Intern. Parts, Inc. v. Altendorf, 347 F.Supp.2d 997, 1009 (2004).

12. Issue of fact precluded summary judgment on two trade secret claims. Bradbury Co., Inc. v. Teissier-Ducros, 413 F.Supp.2d 1209, 1223 (2006).

13. Plaintiff set forth sufficient factual allegations that information misappropriated was a trade secret. MGP Ingredients, Inc. v. Mars, Inc., 465 F.Supp.2d 1109, 1116 (D. Kan. 2006).

14. Mentioned; injunction issued against former employee who signed non-compete covenant. Universal Engraving, Inc. v. Duarte, 519 F.Supp.2d 1140, 1151, 1152, 1154 (2007).

15. Cited; patient identities allegedly accessed by former employees qualified as trade secrets. U.S. Bioservices Corp. v. Lugo, 595 F.Supp.2d 1189, 1195 (2009).

16. Kansas uniform trade secrets act cited and discussed; misappropriation of trade secret found. Progressive Products, Inc. v. Swartz, 41 K.A.2d 745, 205 P.3d 766 (2009).

17. The submission of a product patent application constitutes "use" under KUTSA if the product embodies a party's trade secrets or relies on trade secrets to another party's enrichment. Paradigm Alliance v. Celeritas Technologies, 659 F.Supp.2d 1167 (D. Kan. 2009).

18. Former employer could only recover misappropriation of trade secrets and not misappropriation of confidential information under Kansas Uniform Trade Secrets Act. Wolfe Electric, Inc. v. Duckworth, 293 K. 375, 266 P.3d 516 (2011).

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