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The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016

The National Law Review

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016: What Trade Secret Owners Need to Know

Introduction: On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”), one of the most important trade secret laws in decades. The DTSA creates a federal civil claim for trade secret misappropriation and gives trade secret owners the ability to request law enforcement’s seizure of stolen trade secrets without advance notice to the wrongdoer — an extraordinary remedy unparalleled in any other current federal law. State trade secret protections remain available, and will parallel the additional federal rights created by the DTSA, which include enhanced damage provisions for willful and malicious misappropriation. Passage of the DTSA demonstrates the critical importance of protecting trade secrets and is likely to result in far more federal court litigation involving high stakes and “bet the company” disputes at a time when misappropriation and theft of trade secrets are on the rise.

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