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Guest Post: Defend Trade Secrets Act — A Primer, an Endorsement, and a Criticism, Guest Post by David S. Almeling (partner of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, specializing in patent and trade secret litigation), Patently-O Blog


It’s been an exciting month for trade secret law. Senators Christopher Coons (D-Delaware) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced the Defend Trade Secrets Act, a bill that would, for the first time, provide a federal right of civil action for trade secret theft. And the Judiciary Committee held a hearing during which speakers expressed support for the DTSA, including Eli Lilly’s VP and General Patent Counsel, Douglas Norman, who stated that the DTSA ‘will establish the gold standard for national trade secret laws globally.’

The DTSA is a game changer. If enacted, it would constitute the most dramatic rethinking of trade secret law since 1979, when the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws approved a model statute called the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. Since then, 48 states have adopted the UTSA in some form, replacing their common-law regimes with statutory ones.

The DTSA isn’t perfect — I’ll explain why in a moment — but it’s the best bill of its kind introduced to date, and it should be enacted. . . .