Snapshot of Trade Secret Developments
As we enter the second year post enactment of the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, this Paper presents a snapshot of developments to assess whether there appear to be any significant doctrinal changes afoot in trade secret litigation, both civil and criminal, during the past year. I take a qualitative look at some of the substantive rulings from 2017 to date. My assessment based on this limited sampling is that there do not appear to be any dramatic changes to the doctrinal development of the law to date. The paper highlights some noteworthy civil cases from select federal and state courts. The cases are organized topically to provide the reader with a quick overview of recent rulings in various categories, from stating a claim for trade secret misappropriation to discovery related issues including protective orders, as well as damages and injunctive relief. The Paper also includes updates on criminal convictions and indictments under the Economic Espionage Act over the past year. These “headlines” from the Department of Justice are intended to provide a flavor of the types of cases that are selected for federal criminal prosecution for trade secret misappropriation and espionage.