Recourse for Trade Secret Misappropriation under the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act


The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), 130 Stat. 376, allows U.S. employers to protect against and remedy misappropriation of trade secret information in federal court. Before the enactment of the DTSA, in the absence of diversity jurisdiction, employers seeking redress had no choice but to sue in state court. While most states have adopted and codified some version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA), which provides uniform definitions and remedies for trade secret misappropriation, these laws nevertheless tend to differ from state to state both in the text of the laws themselves and in their application. For information on state trade secret laws and claims, see Non-competes and Trade Secret Protection State Practice Notes Chart. Bringing suit under the DTSA allows a party to avail itself of the federal courts, which can be advantageous since federal courts often are more adept at addressing highly complex technical issues arising in trade secret cases.