This is archived content from the U.S. Department of Justice website. The information here may be outdated and links may no longer function. Please contact if you have any questions about the archive site.

1135. 18 U.S.C. § 1832 Element Six—Interstate or Foreign Commerce

This element requires the government to prove that the trade secret was "related to or included in a product that is produced for or placed in interstate or foreign commerce." 18 U.S.C. § 1832. In cases where the trade secret is related to a product actually being manufactured and sold, this element is easily established by evidence of interstate sales. Where the trade secret relates to a product in research and development, proof might be more difficult. However, there is no evidence that Congress intended to create such a large exception to the trade secrets accorded protection under the EEA. Therefore, in cases in which the trade secret is related to a product still being developed but that product will ultimately be sold in interstate commerce, prosecutors should establish this fact, and argue that it sufficiently meets this element.

[cited in JM 9-59.100]

Updated January 21, 2020