Changing Non-Compete Landscape and the DTSA

In 2016, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) was passed and a new federal civil remedy for the misappropriation of trade secrets was created.  This new law grants litigants access to federal courts in any case involving alleged theft of trade secrets.

The DTSA allows employers to protect their trade secrets in federal court, bringing their rights into alignment with owners of other forms of intellectual property.

Agreements that may be subject to this new rule are:

  • Employment agreements
  • Non-compete and non-solicitation agreements.
  • Confidentiality and proprietary rights agreements.

The purpose of the DTSA is to provide uniformity among states although an important intent is that it not preempt existing federal or state laws.  State legislators continue to hold the power to adopt non-compete reform.

The DTSA includes protections for whistleblowers who disclose trade secrets under certain circumstances.  Employers are required give employees notice of DTSA potential immunity in any contract or agreement that governs the use of a trade secret or other confidential information.

DISCLAIMER:  The information conveyed through this article is not intended to give legal advice, but instead to communicate information to help readers understand the basics of the topic presented.