The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016

Resource Center

by Jeramie Fortenberry, JD, LLM (Taxation) | Executive Editor, WealthCounsel

Although aggrieved parties have long been able to sue in federal court for copyright, patent, and trademark violations, no corresponding private cause of action existed for trade secret theft. Instead, trade secret cases were the domain of state courts.

This changed with the enactment of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, which was signed into law on May 11, 2016. The Act gives federal courts jurisdiction over trade secret cases and allows individuals to bring a private cause of action in federal court.

This Insight Brief begins with a background of trade secret law, then discusses the key provisions of the new Act. It concludes with drafting considerations to ensure that new business documents contain the language required by the Act.