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Posts in Defend Trade Secrets Act.

Until just this past Wednesday, May 11, 2016, when President Obama signed into law the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (the “DTSA”), employers had limited access to the federal courts when their trade secrets were misappropriated.  The DTSA changes that in dramatic fashion.  In an historic shift, this new statute (which, despite today’s political climate, passed the House 410-2) allows employers to file a civil suit in federal court for theft of trade secrets and obtain injunction relief against the misuse of those secrets, as well as damages and attorneys’ fees.  The law also allows, in extraordinary circumstances, a court to order the ex-parte seizure of trade secrets by law enforcement to prevent their propagation or dissemination. The result is that the DTSA will radically alter trade secret litigation. While non-competes and breach of non-solicitation cases will continue to be litigated primarily in state court, trade secret litigation will likely shift to the federal courts. Note, though, that the DTSA does not preempt state law, and thus many DTSA cases filed in federal court will contain multiple causes of action, including state law unfair competition tort claims and claims for breaches of non-solicit and non-compete provisions.

Until passage of the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (the “DTSA”), previously discussed in this blog, employers had limited access to the federal courts when their trade secrets were misappropriated.  We pointed out that the DTSA allows employers to file a civil suit in federal court for theft of trade secrets and obtain injunctive relief against the misuse of those secrets as well as damages and attorneys’ fees.  In extraordinary circumstances, the DTSA allows for the ex-parte seizure of trade secrets by law enforcement to prevent their propagation or dissemination.

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