On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”). This act, in effect, creates a federal trade secrets law with some interesting procedural aspects. For the first time in American jurisprudence, a federal trade secrets act permits litigants to prosecute and defend trade secrets or confidential information cases in a federal court, as opposed to a state court. The law finds its constitutional foundation under the commerce clause.
Why is this new law so important? Because it nullifies the many differences in the trade secrets laws of many states, and presents a uniform substantive and procedural vehicle that may be used in any federal court in any state in the Union.