Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) into law, which takes effect immediately. Apart from adding fresh arrows into the quivers of companies that seek to prevent trade secret theft, it also creates new obligations for employers and opens the door for workers to disclose trade secrets under certain circumstances.

First, the new law provides immunity to persons from civil and criminal liability under both federal and state trade secret law for the disclosure of a trade secret that is (1) made in confidence to a federal, state, or local government official or to an attorney for the sole purpose of reporting or investigating a suspected violation of law; or (2) made in a filing under seal in “a lawsuit or other proceeding.” The statute also includes a provision that further specifies that an individual “who files a lawsuit for retaliation by an employer for reporting a suspected violation of law” may disclose the trade secret to his attorney and use the trade secret information in the court proceeding, if the individual files the documents containing the trade secret under seal, and does not disclose the trade secret except by court order.
Continue Reading New Immunity Given To Employees Who Disclose Employer Trade Secrets