What's Mine is Mine -- Trade Secrets


Date: Thursday, May 26, 2016
Time: 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.


Massachusetts Bar Association
20 West St
Boston, MA, 02111


Jean Stevens

(617) 338-0641

The new federal private right of action for misappropriation of trade secrets

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Citing annual losses of $300 billion and 2.1 million jobs to foreign trade-secret thieves, Congress unanimously passed and, in early May, the president signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of  2016 (DTSA) -- establishing a federal private right of action under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 for “misappropriation” of trade secrets.

Although the private right of action is substantively similar to the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA), the DTSA also provides access to federal courts with no jurisdictional amount requirement and expressly permits ex parte seizure of contraband and evidence subject to due process and anti-abuse limits. While leaving state trade secret laws in place, the DTSA expressly precludes injunctions preventing a person from “entering into an employment relationship,” requires that any conditions on such employment be based on “evidence of threatened misappropriation and not merely on the information the person knows,” and expressly does not preempt state law protecting employee mobility (particularly paraphrasing California’s). Because, unlike 48 other states, Massachusetts has not adopted the UTSA, it may be in greater conflict with DTSA and yet be weaker against so-called “inevitable disclosure” of proprietary information.

The faculty includes: Jerry Cohen, Esq., Burns & Levinson; Russell Beck, Esq., Beck Reed Riden LLP; and Stephen Y. Chow, Esq., Burns & Levinson.

Sponsoring Section:

Complex Commercial Litigation Section

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