On May 11th, President Obama signed The Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) permitting companies and/or individuals with trade secrets to file civil lawsuits in federal court to remedy the misappropriation of such secrets. Thanks to DTSA, trade secrets now receive similar federal legal protections to those that exist for patents, copyrights, and trademarks.
Prior to DTSA’s enactment, companies/individuals seeking to remedy trade secret misappropriation were left only with remedies under state law. With its enactment, DTSA now allows the “owner of a trade secret that is misappropriated [to] bring a civil action…if the trade secret is related to a product or service used in, or intended for use in, interstate or foreign commerce.” This right supplements state law remedies.
The most significant additional benefit from DTSA is that a company/individual may petition a court, under extraordinary circumstances, for an ex parte hearing to seize any property containing the trade secret. DTSA also vests federal courts with the authority to issue injunctions and award monetary damages.
For additional information on DTSA, please see our E-Blast.