Trade Secrets Trends

Trade Secrets Trends

Analysis and commentary on the latest developments in trade secrets protection, disputes, and enforcement

Category Archives: Legislation & Policy

Subscribe to Legislation & Policy RSS Feed

Trump Administration’s Focus on IP Webinar

Posted in Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), Event, Legislation & Policy
The America Invents Act, the Defend Trade Secrets Act, and recent Court decisions demonstrate the ongoing changes affecting intellectual property. The new Trump administration is expected to continue this trend from the legislative perspective, and is expected that Congress will consider further legislation that may rival the size of the America Invents Act. At the… Continue Reading

The First DTSA Verdict: $500,000 for Misappropriation of a Fig Spread Recipe

Posted in Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), Legislation & Policy, U.S. Litigation
In less than a year from its enactment, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) has now yielded its first jury verdict with a victory for the Florida-based company Dalmatia Import Group, Inc. The center of controversy revolved around a gourmet fig spread made with a secret recipe and process.  The jury returned a $500,000 award… Continue Reading

DTSA UPDATE: Tips for Santa to Maintain Trade Secrets at the North Pole

Posted in Legislation & Policy
1.  Clearly label Christmas cards as “Confidential” if these contain secret wishes. 2.  Amend Confidentiality Agreements and Employee Manual to include the required Whistleblower language – those elves have rights. 3.  Have robust exit interviews with all departing elves, reminding them of their obligations to keep “reindeer games” secret. 4.  Insist that expert toy makers… Continue Reading

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Calls for Greater Trade Secrets Protection

Posted in Cyberhacking, Legislation & Policy
On Friday, September 9, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged the Obama Administration to take more action against the theft of trade secrets and other intellectual property.  The Chamber did so in response to a Request for Information issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), seeking industry input regarding various cybersecurity issues,… Continue Reading

4 Key Takeaways: What the New Federal Trade Secrets Law Means for Your Clients (June 15 Webinar)

Posted in Legislation & Policy, Non-Competes
On June 15, Crowell & Moring hosted a trade secrets webinar, “What the New Federal Trade Secrets Law Means for Your Clients.” The panelists, Mark Klapow, Mark Romeo, Mike Songer, and Vince Galluzzo provided an overview Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), signed by President Obama in May. The panelists also discussed how the courts are… Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court Issues First Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act Decision

Posted in Legislation & Policy, U.S. Litigation
The Texas Supreme Court on Friday issued its first decision interpreting the recently enacted Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUTSA), holding that a defendant’s corporate representative does not have an absolute right to remain in the courtroom while a plaintiff’s trade secrets are discussed.  In re M-I L.L.C. d/ba/ MI-Swaco, No. 14-1045 (Tex. Jan. 13,… Continue Reading

Recent Case Highlights Circuit Split on Important Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Question

Posted in Legislation & Policy
Another court has rejected the broader interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA” or “the Act”) as applying to employees who exceed their authorized use.  A recent decision in Minnesota highlights the issue of whether the Act imposes civil liability on employees who have permission to access their employers’ data, but do so… Continue Reading

House Finally Passes Federal Trade Secrets Law; Next Step is Obama’s Promised Signature

Posted in Legislation & Policy
As we have noted over the past several months, trade secrets will finally obtain additional protection under federal law. Yesterday, April 27, 2016, the House of Representatives passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, S. 1890, without amendment. The bipartisan bill passed with a vote of 410-2, sending the bill to the White House… Continue Reading

Federal Trade Secrets Bill Headed to House Vote Wednesday

Posted in Data Protection, Legislation & Policy, U.S. Litigation
A federal civil cause of action for trade secrets misappropriation appears to be quickly becoming reality. Following the lead of the Senate, on Wednesday, April 20, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015, S. 1890, without amendment. The bipartisan bill will now head to the full House of Representatives… Continue Reading

European Parliament Votes for Simple Cross-Border Trade Secret Law

Posted in EU Regulation, Legislation & Policy
Today, the European Parliament approved a Directive that seeks to simplify and harmonize the law on trade secrets throughout the European Union with a vast majority (503 in favor, 131 against and 18 abstentions). The Directive was first proposed in 2013. Although the initial proposal was deliberately kept ‘low profile,’ it was the subject of… Continue Reading

Senate Unanimously Votes to Create Federal Civil Action for Trade Secrets Misappropriation

Posted in Data Protection, Legislation & Policy, U.S. Litigation
On Monday April 4, after remarks from the bill’s sponsors Orrin Hatch (R) Utah and Christopher Coons (D) Delaware, the Senate voted 87-0 in favor of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015, S. 1890. As we have previously reported, the Act will create a federal civil cause of action for trade secrets misappropriation, which… Continue Reading

Beware of a Broad Arbitration Clause

Posted in Legislation & Policy, Non-Competes, U.S. Litigation
Tort claims of trade secret theft, fraud, unfair competition, tortious interference with contract, and civil conspiracy can fall within the scope of an overly broad arbitration clause. Medversant Technologies, LLC v Leverage Health Solutions, LLC, et al., 114 F. Supp. 3d 290 (E.D. Pa. 2015). In this case, the district court looked “not to the… Continue Reading

Proposed FAR Rule Targets Restrictive Confidentiality Agreements

Posted in Legislation & Policy
On January 22, 2016, the FAR Council proposed a new rule implementing section 743 of the 2015 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, which prohibits federal dollars from going to companies that require employees to sign restrictive confidentiality agreements that could limit the ability of employees to report suspected fraud and abuse to the government. As described… Continue Reading

Santa’s 10 Considerations for Maintaining Trade Secrets at the North Pole

Posted in Data Protection, Legislation & Policy
Santa’s 10 considerations for maintaining trade secrets at the North Pole: Restrict access to facility by choosing remote location. Make the Elves sign Confidentiality Agreements as part of the hiring process. Have robust exit interviews with all departing elves, reminding them of their obligations to keep “reindeer games” secrets. Insist that gift wrapping specialists with prior… Continue Reading

DuPont, Corning, and Others Speak Out in Support of Defend Trade Secrets Act at Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing

Posted in Data Protection, Legislation & Policy, U.S. Litigation
On Wednesday November 2, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the pending Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015, S. 1890. We have previously reported on the Act, which will create a federal civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation, which includes an ex parte seizure provision. The hearing began with Chairman Grassley… Continue Reading

Keeping Up with Cybercriminals: House Passes Bill to Formally Establish National Computer Forensics Institute

Posted in Criminal Prosecution, Cyberhacking, Data Protection, Legislation & Policy
On Monday November 30, the House demonstrated its resolve to fight high-tech crime such as trade secret theft by passing the Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act (H.R. 3490). The Act formally establishes the National Computer Forensics Institute, which is located in Hoover, Alabama and has been operating since 2008. Under the Act,… Continue Reading

AIPPI Publishes Rio-Resolution and Country Reports on Specific Aspects of Trade Secrets Enforcement

Posted in Legislation & Policy
The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) recently published the four resolutions that were adopted at its World IP Congress in Rio de Janeiro last month. These resolutions are based on the feedback received throughout 2015 from the national AIPPI-groups around the globe and on the panel discussion at the congress. Hereunder… Continue Reading

Reports on the TPP Agreement Suggest Focus on Criminal Law to Strengthen Trade Secret Protection

Posted in Legislation & Policy
On October 4, 2015 the trade ministers of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam announced that they concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). After more than five years of intensive negotiations, these countries representing a combined market of nearly 800 million people agreed to provide, among… Continue Reading

The Growing Momentum for Federal Trade Secrets Legislation

Posted in Legislation & Policy
The momentum for federal trade secrets legislation appears to be growing with last week’s introduction of the “Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015” in both chambers of Congress. The bill, H.R. 3326 in the House and S. 1890 in the Senate, would create a uniform federal civil action for trade secret misappropriation, which is currently litigated exclusively… Continue Reading

Federal Non Compete Law?

Posted in Legislation & Policy
Earlier this month four Senators proposed a federal law to prohibit the use of covenants not compete against so-called “low wage employees.”  The Mobility and Opportunity for Vulnerable Employees Act (MOVE Act) would seemingly be the first federal law related to non competes, which have traditionally been creatures of state law. The MOVE Act covers… Continue Reading

The Future of Trade Secret Protection in the EU: A Bird in The Hand is Still Worth Two in The Bush

Posted in EU Regulation, Legislation & Policy
The European lawmaker’s work on the draft Trade Secrets Directive, intended to create a uniform legal basis for the protection of trade secrets in the European Union, has entered the finishing straight. The proposal has been and still is subject to much debate at the highest policy and lawmaking level. There are indeed still quite… Continue Reading