December 11, 2019 Articles

Three Years into the Defend Trade Secrets Act, How Do Its Remedies Differ in Practice from the Uniform Act’s Remedies?

Unsure about different remedies under the DTSA and the UTSA? Look no further for a DTSA remedy primer and update.

By Christopher W. Tackett

The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), Pub. L. No. 114-153, took effect on May 11, 2016. A federal statute that extends the Economic Espionage Act to allow civil lawsuits at the federal level for misappropriation of trade secrets, the DTSA creates a federal cause of action against persons, such as competitors and ex-employees, who misappropriate trade secrets. The statute was created as an intended complement to the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA), which has been adopted by 48 states. Both prior to passing through Congress with widespread support and after it took effect, the DTSA has been hyped by many commentators as providing significant new protections and benefits to companies seeking to protect trade secrets. Among the most noteworthy benefits that brought positive anticipation of the DTSA were that the act provides (1) federal jurisdiction for trade secret claims, (2) statutory remedies to address foreign trade secret theft, and (3) the possibility of ex parte judicial orders to seize wrongfully misappropriated trade secrets.

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