New Federal Law to Defend Against Trade Secret Theft
On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defense of Trade Secrets Act. The new law provides federal restitution when confidential business secrets and information are stolen. The new federal act allows trade secret owners to file a civil action to seek both injunctive and monetary relief from the misuse and misappropriation of stolen business information. Statute of limitations, a law that prohibits prosecutors from charging someone with a crime after a set amount of time to ensure evidence and witness testimony has not deteriorated with time, has been set to three years from the date of the discovery of trade secret misappropriation.
In addition, the law also contains a provision that allows trade secret owners to request the federal government to issue a seizure to prevent further circulation and use of business secrets and information and prevent irreparable harm. Courts will then take custody of seized materials and hold a hearing within seven days. Also included in the law is the ex parte seizure provision that allows seizure of trade secret information without the defendant being informed potentially preventing the defendant from leaving the country with the stolen information.
The law provides federal remedies for trade secret protection that previously was only dealt with on a state level. Texas businesses have been able to make use of the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act which defined what constitutes a trade secret and injunctive and monetary relief for businesses within the state of Texas.
For trade law litigation services, call John McDuff at (512) 457-1177.