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What is the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016?

| Dec 22, 2017 | Intellectual Property |

What rights does a trade secret holder have when their trade secret has been misappropriated? Depending on the specific circumstances, a Manhattan business owner may be able to seek a remedy in the New York state court system. A Manhattan business owner may also be able to seek a remedy in federal court. This is because of the enactment of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016. This law came into effect in May of last year.

The law applies to trade secret misappropriation related to a product or service in interstate or foreign commerce. An intellectual property attorney can help people determine whether their product or service meets this requirement. If it does, and the legal requirements of misappropriation have been demonstrated to the court’s satisfaction, the plaintiff may be entitled to a number of remedies. These remedies can include compensatory money damages for the misappropriation. It can also include getting an injunction to stop the alleged misappropriator. A successful plaintiff may also be able to recover some or all of their attorney’s fees.

The law also provides a financial penalty for trade secret theft. Under the law, the maximum penalty for trade secret theft is $5 million or three times the value of the stolen trade secret, whichever is greater. Further, the law does not require the holder of a trade secret to disclose it in order to bring an action. The holder may have to submit under seal a description of the interest in keeping the information confidential. This would not constitute a waiver of trade secret protection unless an owner expressly consents to a waiver.

The law provides these and other protections for trade secret holders. An intellectual property attorney can provide more information and guidance to business owners.

Source: Congress.gov, “S.1890 – Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016,” accessed on Dec. 16, 2017

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