Search Team

Search by Last Name
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z

Articles

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2014 (S. 2267) marks the latest attempt at creating a federal civil cause of action for fighting trade secret theft

May 16, 2014

Articles

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2014 (S. 2267) marks the latest attempt at creating a federal civil cause of action for fighting trade secret theft

May 16, 2014

Back to News Listing

While the Economic Espionage Act of 1996[1] (the “EEA”) presents an important weapon for use in combatting trade secret theft, it is a criminal statute and creates no private civil cause of action for injured parties. Sure, restitution is available under the EEA, but injured parties often wish to be more involved in the justice-seeking process than just referring their case to the Department of Justice and assisting with the investigation—assuming one is initiated at all. Also, victims of trade secrets theft often want to obtain injunctive relief and/or recover attorney’s fees and exemplary damages— remedies which are not available[2] to private parties under the EEA. To seek such relief, they sue under one of the state law forms of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) (or, in Massachusetts, New York, and North Carolina, other state statutory law and/or common law). And, though the very purpose of a uniform act is to establish uniformity across jurisdictions, there are some differences between the various states’ versions of the UTSA or in differing state courts’ interpretation of common UTSA provisions. Also, civil litigants are often reluctant to stir up parallel criminal proceedings under the EEA, where the invocation of Fifth Amendment by key witnesses may bring civil proceedings to a grinding halt. For these reasons, there has been significant discussion (and legislative effort) in recent years toward the creation of a civil trade secret theft cause of action. S. 2267, titled the Defend Trade Secrets Act (the “DTSA”), is the latest such development (the text of the bill is available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113s2267is/pdf/BILLS-113s2267is.pdf). —Read more on Fish’s Litigation Blog–

Stay current with Fish Sign up for our Newsletter