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What is the Defend Trade Secrets Act?

There are many protections available for your intellectual property in California. It is important to understand them and know the details of such protection, including what remedies you have if someone were to violate your rights. The American Bar Association notes a 2016 bill, called the Defend Trade Secrets Act, offers you better protection if you have a trade secret. The DTSA provides a new definition for trade secret, along with giving you a better venue in which to pursue trade secret violations.

Prior to the enacting of the DTSA, you were at the mercy of state courts where laws differed. If you had to go outside the state to another state court, it could get confusing. The idea of the DTSA is to provide a universial set of laws and procedures, along with giving federal courts jurisdiction.

Some of the important aspects of the law include the clear definition of a trade secret, along with a clearer definition of misappropriation. There is a whistleblower protection included in the law, too, to protect those who share trade secrets with attorneys or officials during an investigation. It grants courts the right to make an injunction to prevent a threat of a secret being revealed. Courts are also allowed to award damages, including attorney fees. It also enacts the ability for civil seizure. This is the seizure of property that could lead to misappropriation. It should be noted this is only allowed in very specific situations. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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