In law, misappropriation can be both a criminal and a civil violation. In civil law in the United States, many states define misappropriation as the unauthorized use of another's name, likeness, or identity without that person's permission, resulting in harm to that person. For an example, see §1803 of the Judicial Council of California's Civil Jury Instructions from 2013.
In criminal law, misappropriation is the intentional, illegal use of the property or funds of another person for one's own use or other unauthorized purpose, particularly by a public official, a trustee of a trust, an executor or administrator of a dead person's estate or by any person with a responsibility to care for and protect another's assets (a fiduciary duty). It is a felony, a crime punishable by a prison sentence.
In scientificresearch, misappropriation is a type of research misconduct. An investigator, scholar or reviewer can obtain novel ideas during the process of the exchange of ideas amongst colleagues and peers. However, improper use of such information could constitute fraud. This can include plagiarism of work or to make use of any information in breach of any duty of confidentiality associated with the review of manuscripts or grant applications.