On May 12, 2016 President Barack Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”). The new law basically does two things of significance: first, it gives Federal District Courts original jurisdiction over trade secret disputes, and second, it provides procedures that will allow plaintiffs to “seize” property if necessary to prevent “the propagation or dissemination” of trade secrets that have been misappropriated.
The law also allows for the recovery of punitive damages and attorney fees. But employers may get these damages only if they provide a special notice to whistleblowers that, under certain circumstances, a whistleblower may disclose trade secrets to his or her attorney for use in court proceedings. This notice, or reference to a policy that contains the notice, needs to be included in all documents that govern the use of trade secrets or other confidential information.
If you want to take advantage of the DTSA, please give the attorneys at BurnsBarton a call to find out how your policies and contracts need to be revised.