California Penal Code Section 499c
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California Laws > Penal Code > California Penal Code Section 499c
499c. (a) As used in this section:
(1) "Access" means to approach, a way or means of approaching,
nearing, admittance to, including to instruct, communicate with,
store information in, or retrieve information from a computer system
or computer network.
(2) "Article" means any object, material, device, or substance or
copy thereof, including any writing, record, recording, drawing,
sample, specimen, prototype, model, photograph, micro-organism,
blueprint, map, or tangible representation of a computer program or
information, including both human and computer readable information
and information while in transit.
(3) "Benefit" means gain or advantage, or anything regarded by the
beneficiary as gain or advantage, including benefit to any other
person or entity in whose welfare he or she is interested.
(4) "Computer system" means a machine or collection of machines,
one or more of which contain computer programs and information, that
performs functions, including, but not limited to, logic, arithmetic,
information storage and retrieval, communications, and control.
(5) "Computer network" means an interconnection of two or more
(6) "Computer program" means an ordered set of instructions or
statements, and related information that, when automatically executed
in actual or modified form in a computer system, causes it to
perform specified functions.
(7) "Copy" means any facsimile, replica, photograph or other
reproduction of an article, and any note, drawing or sketch made of
or from an article.
(8) "Representing" means describing, depicting, containing,
constituting, reflecting or recording.
(9) "Trade secret" means information, including a formula,
pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process,
(A) Derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from
not being generally known to the public or to other persons who can
obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and
(B) Is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the
circumstances to maintain its secrecy.
(b) Every person is guilty of theft who, with intent to deprive or
withhold the control of a trade secret from its owner, or with an
intent to appropriate a trade secret to his or her own use or to the
use of another, does any of the following:
(1) Steals, takes, carries away, or uses without authorization, a
(2) Fraudulently appropriates any article representing a trade
secret entrusted to him or her.
(3) Having unlawfully obtained access to the article, without
authority makes or causes to be made a copy of any article
representing a trade secret.
(4) Having obtained access to the article through a relationship
of trust and confidence, without authority and in breach of the
obligations created by that relationship, makes or causes to be made,
directly from and in the presence of the article, a copy of any
article representing a trade secret.
(c) Every person who promises, offers or gives, or conspires to
promise or offer to give, to any present or former agent, employee or
servant of another, a benefit as an inducement, bribe or reward for
conveying, delivering or otherwise making available an article
representing a trade secret owned by his or her present or former
principal, employer or master, to any person not authorized by the
owner to receive or acquire the trade secret and every present or
former agent, employee, or servant, who solicits, accepts, receives
or takes a benefit as an inducement, bribe or reward for conveying,
delivering or otherwise making available an article representing a
trade secret owned by his or her present or former principal,
employer or master, to any person not authorized by the owner to
receive or acquire the trade secret, shall be punished by
imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by
imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by a
fine not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both that
fine and imprisonment.
(d) In a prosecution for a violation of this section, it shall be
no defense that the person returned or intended to return the
Last modified: March 17, 2014