The federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), that has been subject of rigorous debate over the past few years, is just days away from becoming the law of the land.
On April 4, 2016, the Senate passed the DTSA bill with a vote of 87-0 (S-1890). Yesterday, the House passed the bill by a vote of 410-2. The bill will now move to the White House, but given that the Obama Administration has already voiced strong support in its favor, it is expected that President Obama will sign the bill into law in the next several days.
The DTSA amends the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 to create a federal civil remedy for stealing trade secrets. Currently, trade secrets are governed by a patchwork of 50 state trade secrets statutes. The DTSA will provide an additional uniform federal statute that trade secrets owners may use to protect themselves and fill the perceived gaps in the state statutes.
One of the most salient features of the DTSA that has received a lot of attention is a provision that allows a plaintiff in a trade secrets lawsuit to obtain an ex parte seizure order “only in extraordinary circumstances” of the “property necessary to prevent the propagation or dissemination of the trade secret that is the subject of the action.” I foresee many litigants in the future arguing over what constitutes “extraordinary circumstances” that justify seizure of somebody’s phone, computer, or other property, in order to prevent further dissemination of trade secrets.
Stay tuned for a detailed analysis of the statute once it becomes the law…
Leiza litigates non-compete and trade secrets lawsuits on behalf of COMPANIES and EMPLOYEES in a variety of industries, and has advised hundreds of clients regarding non-compete and trade secret issue. If you need assistance with a non-compete or a trade secret misappropriation situation, contact Leiza for a confidential consultation at Leiza.Dolghih@lewisbrisbois.com or (214) 722-7108.