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The New Defend Trade Secrets Act: Six Steps Businesses Can Take Now to Protect Trade Secrets

The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) is a new federal law passed in 2016. It is unique in that it increases protections for employers as well as employees or subcontractors that handle trade secrets. It provides a cause of action under federal law for the owners of misappropriated trade secrets and powerful new weapons to protect trade secrets from unauthorized dissemination. This law also creates new protections to employees and subcontractors who use trade secrets exclusively to report violations of the law (i.e., whistleblowers). The law went into effect in May, and has already played a prominent role in trade secret litigation. To take full advantage of the DTSA’s protective tools, businesses must take steps on the front end to identify, quantify, and protect their trade secrets.

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