Trade Secrets Get Greater Protection – Benefit Business Owners

As you know, we here at Abnormal Use often direct your attention to the work of our writers and lawyers published elsewhere. Well, this week is no exception, as our own Zach Weaver has published a new piece about trade secrets entitled “Trade Secrets Get Greater Protection – Benefit Business Owners,” the first two paragraphs of which are:

Trade secrets are the lifeblood of a successful business. Be it the formula for Coke, a small business’s special manufacturing techniques, a corporate marketing strategy, or any other competitive business information that has value because it is not known to the public, trade secrets are what differentiate and give businesses an advantage over competitors. Congress has recently decided that such trade secrets and the businesses that hold them are deserving of greater protection. Last week, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (the “DTSA”) was signed by President Obama. Applicable immediately, the Act substantially amends Chapter 90 of Title 18 of the US Code and creates a federal cause of action for theft or misappropriation of trade secrets. The law effectively federalizes a significant number of trade secret claims, adding to the federal jurisdiction over intellectual property matters that already includes patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

Previously, trade secret cases were brought in state court unless another claim involving federal law existed or the parties were from different states and a sufficient amount of money was involved. This was because the majority of states had adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act in some shape or form, including South Carolina which has the South Carolina Trade Secrets Act, S.C. Code 39-8-10, et seq.  The likely result of the DTSA will be that the federal and state law claims will be brought simultaneously in federal court (as the DTSA does not replace any of the claims one has under state law).

You can read the full piece here.

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