New Trade Secrets Law
On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA). This statute enacts a new federal private right of action to protect trade secrets. It does this by adding a civil component to the federal law making it a crime to steal intellectual property.
Before the DTSA, civil remedies for trade secret disputes were handled exclusively under state law. While most states have adopted a version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, there are differences state to state. The DTSA does not replace or preempt state law. Instead, it is expected to create a new body of federal law on the subject of trade secrets.
The bottom line is that businesses now have another tool to assist in the ongoing protection of trade secrets. With the availability of this new remedy, businesses have a reason to inventory trade secret assets and confirm whether all necessary steps have been taken to protect such assets.