Thomson Reuters Practical Law has released the 2024 update to “Trade Secrets Litigation,” co-authored by Peter A. Steinmeyer.
The Note discusses trade secrets litigation for employers whose employees or former employees have misappropriated trade secrets. This Note describes pre-litigation investigations, sending cease and desist letters, and contacting law enforcement. It also addresses filing a legal action, including forum selection and choice of law issues, deciding whether to include the employee’s new employer and third parties, common causes of action (including misappropriation under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA)), discovery, injunctive relief, damages, and attorneys’ fees. It includes best practices for preparing to counter potential defenses and counterclaims and maintaining confidentiality during litigation. This Note applies to private employers and is jurisdiction-neutral.
Following is an excerpt (see below to download the full article in PDF format):
Trade secrets are often an employer’s most valuable assets. When an employee or former employee misappropriates an employer’s trade secrets, the employer frequently initiates litigation with several goals in mind, including:
- Preventing further unauthorized use or disclosure of its trade secrets.
- Recovering the trade secrets.
- Obtaining damages.
This Practice Note discusses trade secrets litigation. In particular, it addresses:
- Preliminary steps to consider, such as sending a cease and desist letter and contacting law enforcement.
- Filing a legal action.
- Common causes of action.
- Discovery, including expedited discovery.
- Injunctive relief, damages, and attorneys’ fees.
- Best practices for preparing to counter potential defenses and counterclaims.
- Maintaining confidentiality during trade secrets litigation.
Download the full Practice Note in PDF format: Trade Secrets Litigation—2024 Update