How the Defend Trade Secrets Act Impacts your IP Strategy

POSTED BY Bill Petrow and Jeff Goodwin AT 12:51 P.M. May 13, 2016

The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) of 2016 was signed into law on May 11th, adding national and international protection for trade secrets to the already-existing state-level laws, which are allowed to remain in place according to the new federal statute.

Generally speaking, the DTSA provides a new level of protection for information such as a formulas, patterns, compilations, programs, devices, methods, techniques, or processes. It is now a federal offense to misappropriate trade secret information, including improperly obtaining or disclosing the information.

In addition, the DTSA taken together with the AIA’s prior use protections, provides 2-part protection, which may allow a company to continue to use its trade secreted inventions even if another entity subsequently patents the invention.

This new paradigm is a game-changer for IP strategy – especially for defense, as it adds another route for IP protection outside the usual “race to the patent office”. For example, a well-constructed trade secret program for a manufacturer could be more comprehensive at a lower cost than an IP strategy exclusively limited to patenting. ipCG has deep experience in creating new trade secret programs for major industrials and other sectors, nationally and internationally, and can assess/audit existing trade secret programs for compliance with the DTSA. If you would like a more detailed explanation of how a proactive trade secret practice could work in your organization please email or call (802) 859-7800.