Defend Trade Secrets Act Provides Federal Protection from Misappropriation

Defend Trade Secrets Act “DTSA” now provides federal protection against and remedies for trade secret misappropriation that previously existed via the state courts.  DTSA defines a  trade secret as:

“All forms and types of financial, business, scientific, technical, economic, or engineering information, including patterns, plans, compilations, program devices, formulas, designs, prototypes, methods, techniques, processes, procedures, programs, or codes, whether tangible or intangible, and whether or how stored, compiled, or memorialized physically, electronically, graphically, photographically, or in writing if:

(A) The owner thereof has taken reasonable measures to keep such information secret.

(B) The information derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable through proper means by, another person who can obtain economic value from the disclosure or use of the information.”

Parties can now make parallel claims in both the federal and state courts.  Economic damages are presented by an expert witness and can include (non-duplicative) lost profits, disgorgement of defendant’s profits or a reasonable royalty.  Remedies for further protection available under the DTSA include civil seizure, injunction to prevent future actual or threatened misappropriation or conditioned future use on the payment of a reasonable royalty if an injunction is not equitable.



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