New Jersey Trade Secrets Act Does Not Preempt Common Law Claims for Misappropriation of Confidential Information

Authors: 
Mark Diana (Morristown),
Evan J. Shenkman (Morristown),
Published Date:
February 2013

In SCS Healthcare Marketing, LLC v. Allergan USA, Inc., et al., 2012 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2704 (N.J. Super., Dec. 7, 2012), the New Jersey Chancery division held that the newly enacted New Jersey Trade Secrets Act (N.J.S.A. 56:15-1 et seq.) does not preempt common law claims of misappropriation of confidential information, notwithstanding statutory language seemingly to the contrary. Conceding that the statute was not a model of clarity, the court concluded that sections 56:15-9(a) and (b) of the Act must be read in conjunction, which reflected the New Jersey Legislature’s intent that the rights and remedies afforded under the Trade Secrets Act be cumulative, rather than restrictive, of the rights and remedies provided under the common law. As a result, the plaintiff’s claims withstood the defendants’ motion to dismiss on preemption grounds.

Note: This article was published in the February 2013 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.