The scope of the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act ("DTSA") enacted on May 11, 2016 extends well beyond employment issues. However, its impact on an employers' asset protection and enforcement program is quite significant.
The DTSA establishes a uniform, compressive body of law under which employers can secure the expedited return of their Trade Secrets misappropriated and/or misused by former or current employees, as well as damages related to such behavior. More specifically, the DTSA creates a new federal, cause of action for the protection of all employer trade secrets where historically, such was left to various state laws. The Uniform Trade Secrets Act ("UTSA") was proposed in 1979 as a recommended uniform state law to be adopted by the state legislators if they chose to do so. While the vast majority of the states eventually adopted the UTSA, they were free to and often did adopt modified versions of this law, leaving employers with more benign protections. The DTSA also expands and modernizes the UTSA body of state laws in many critical ways.
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