Federal, Civil Right of Action: Does the DTSA Make Trade Secret Protection a Better Defense for Inventions?
On May 11th, President Barack Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), establishing a federal, civil private right of action for trade secret theft, thus expanding trade secret protection in the United States. The Obama administration stated that DTSA would provide a “more uniform, reliable, and predictable way” for companies to protect their trade secrets. With the establishment of a federal, civil private right of action, businesses now have the ability to choose to sue for trade secret theft in either state or federal court.
How the Federal, Civil Right of Action Changes Things
Many are claiming that this new law will give inventors an incentive to protect their inventions through trade secret law instead of patent protection because it “creates a new avenue for protecting inventions not in the public eye.” To many, the value of trade secret protection has grown in recent years, believing that patents have lost some of their value because it has become more expensive to enforce patents due to recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions and the passage of the America Invents Act of 2011 (AIA).
However, others are not as quick in believing that DTSA will alter the landscape for inventors and businesses trying to decide between patent protection and trade secret protection. Some have argued that for those inventions that can’t be practiced without revealing confidential information, patent protection still provides the best avenue of protection, whereas if an invention will likely remain viable well beyond its patent expiration date, trade secret law may provide the best protection. With this in mind, some say the ultimate decision for inventors and businesses comes down to weighing their interests and the benefits, and costs, of each mode of protection. While it remains unclear what sort of impact DTSA federal, civil right of action will have on the landscape of patent protection, it is evident that DTSA has provided greater protection for those who seek to protect their inventions and business secrets through trade secret law.
For more information on this topic, please visit our Trade Secret Protection service page, which is part of our Technology & Data practice.
Klemchuk LLP is an Intellectual Property (IP), Technology, Internet, and Business law firm located in Dallas, TX. The firm offers comprehensive legal services including litigation and enforcement of all forms of IP as well as registration and licensing of patents, trademarks, trade dress, and copyrights. The firm also provides a wide range of technology, Internet, e-commerce, and business services including business planning, formation, and financing, mergers and acquisitions, business litigation, data privacy, and domain name dispute resolution. Additional information about the intellectual property law firm and its intellectual property attorneys may be found at www.klemchuk.com.
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