Copyright, patent, and trademark law do not protect every type of IP asset. Other assets may be protected under trade secret law or via non-disclosure agreement and non-compete agreements. Under the traditional state law definition, to be a trade secret, the information at issue must derive independent economic value “from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable through proper means by, the public.” However, in 2016, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”) into law, thereby creating, for the first time, a federal system of trade secrets law. The DTSA removes “the public” as the relevant body of individuals and replaces it with “another person who can obtain economic value from the disclosure or use of the information.” In this way, the DTSA puts a sharper point on the standard for establishing a trade secret’s economic value.
The DTSA provides a comprehensive definition of “misappropriation” that was not included in the original EEA. Under the DTSA, “misappropriation” is the acquisition, disclosure or use of a trade secret of another, without consent, by a person who knows or has reason to know that the trade secret was acquired by improper means or mistake or under circumstances giving rise to a duty to maintain the secrecy of the trade secret.
We can provide assistance with:
Drafting and reviewing non-disclosure and non-compete agreements
Counseling on ways to protect trade secrets
litigation (enforcement or defense) of trade secret claims
litigation (enforcement or defense) of non-disclosure or non-compete agreement claims