Effective as of October 1, 2018, Massachusetts will become the 49th state to adopt a version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (leaving New York as the only holdout). Massachusetts did so as part of a large budget bill recently signed into law, which also resulted in the adoption of the Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act. (The text of the Massachusetts version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act is set out on pages 47-52 of the bill, H. 4868, while the effective date is set out on page 117. Here is a link to the entire budget bill.)
As the law’s first anniversary approaches, federal courts continue to adjudicate claims arising under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”). Enacted on May 11, 2016, DTSA provides the first private federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation, allowing parties to sue in federal court for trade secret misappropriation. Although the law is in its infancy, employers and legal practitioners filing complaints that assert DTSA claims must nevertheless adhere to longstanding rules of pleading set forth by the Supreme Court and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”). Two recent decisions address this fundamental concept and serve as reminders that…
Continue Reading Recent Federal Decisions Confirm That DTSA Claims Must Follow Longstanding Pleading Standards
Under the DTSA, employers can now sue in federal court for trade secret misappropriation. Though there is some overlap with the Uniform Trade Secrets Act—adopted in some version by 48 states—the DTSA marks a notable change in how these cases are litigated, creating a federal civil cause of action. The new law contains broad whistleblower protections and new requirements for employers to give notice of these protections.
On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”), which became effective immediately. The DTSA provides the first private federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation, and it allows parties to sue in federal court for trade secret misappropriation—regardless of the dollar value of the trade secrets at issue.
Although the DTSA’s remedies largely overlap with those in the 48 states that have adopted some version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, the DTSA will nevertheless significantly alter how trade secret misappropriation cases are litigated. Additionally, the DTSA has broad whistleblower protections, and…
Continue Reading Defend Trade Secrets Act Signed Into Law
After years of stops and starts in Congressional efforts to pass a law creating a federal claim for misappropriation of trade secrets that can be pursued by private citizens and companies (as opposed to federal prosecutors), the last few weeks have produced an astonishing acceleration of those efforts. This month, the Defend Trade Secrets Act has been approved by both houses of Congress in resounding fashion. It is on the brink of being enacted into law.
On April 27, 2016, the House of Representatives voted 410-2 to pass the Defend Trade Secrets Act. That vote came quickly on the heels…
Continue Reading House Passes Federal Trade Secrets Bill