Trade secrets make up one of the most important assets of U.S. companies since they comprise a significant portion of the value of companies’ information portfolios. Trade secrets help drive investment, invention, and economic growth. As such, trade secrets are a target for theft from both domestic and international competitors. In fact, it has been estimated that the annual value of trade secret losses in the U.S. is $300 billion, which has led to an estimated loss of 2.1 million American jobs per year.
On May 11, 2016, Congress passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which creates a new federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation and a path to federal court where jurisdiction may not otherwise exist. For U.S. businesses with an international presence, the DTSA may provide a mechanism to reach foreign misappropriations.
The regulation aimed at providing uniformity in trade secret law prevents companies from suing employees who disclose trade secrets to federal and state authorities in order to report fraud. Consequently there is now federal jurisdiction for trade secret theft. Trade secret owners can now pursue federal civil remedies in addition to existing state remedies.
The Federal Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Law Conference is just one month away, and the panel on “Nearly One Year In: Trends, Developments, and Tips for Navigating the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act” with Rex L. Buxton (Lifetouch Inc.) and Joel P. Schroeder (Best & Flanagan LLP) will explore the DTSA and its enforcement capabilities. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn about the formation of national policy governing trade secret law. Register at www.fedbar.org/labor17 to attend the two-day conference where leaders in employment and labor law from around the nation will present on this timely and important topic for practitioners.
The newly created opportunity to pursue claims in federal court under federal law, in addition to state court venues, has led some significant questions to be faced by practitioners. The DTSA symbolizes the most significant trade secret reform law in decades. Given the importance of this landmark statute, the Federal Bar Association will provide an overview of the key provisions, practical recommendations for trade secret owners to protect their trade secrets under the new federal law, implementation of the new seizure provisions, and strategies for complying with the notice provisions of the DTSA.
Join the Labor & Employment Section March 9-10 in San Antonio, Texas. Register today at www.fedbar.org/labor17 to gain valuable insight as well as practical skills concerning labor and employment law issues facing the nation.
Stacy Slotnick, Esq. holds a J.D., cum laude, from Touro Law Center and a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She performs a broad range of duties as an entertainment lawyer, including drafting and negotiating contracts; addressing and litigating trademark, copyright, patent, and other IP issues; and directing the strategy and implementation of public relations, blogging, and social media campaigns.