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May 2016 Archives

Enactment of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) Creates Mandatory Notice Requirement for Employers

On May 11 President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), creating a new federal civil cause of action for misappropriation of trade secrets. Prior to the DTSA, trade secrets were the only major form of intellectual property whose theft did not provide its owner with a federal private right of action. To a large extent, the DTSA parallels the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA), which is the model for most state trade secret statutes. However, the DTSA provides significant additional benefits for trade secret owners, including increased harmonization that should simplify nondisclosure policies, along with greater access to federal courts, thereby providing nationwide service of process, more predictable discovery procedures, and greater experience dealing with complex technologies in other intellectual property disputes.

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