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As we reported over the last few weeks, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) was close to becoming the first civil, federal law designed to provide a remedy for the theft of trade secrets. Yesterday, as expected, President Obama signed the DTSA into law. What does this mean for companies with valuable trade secrets to protect, and how will the DTSA impact trade secret law? The DTSA creates a private, civil cause of…
Update: Just a couple of weeks ago, we reported that the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 had been passed in the Senate by a vote of 87-0. The House passed the DTSA by a vote of 410-2 on April 27, 2016. Enactment of the DTSA is a near certainty now, as President Obama has previously expressed support for the bill and is expected to sign it. Besides allowing access to federal courts for trade…
States have long provided protection for trade secrets, with most having enacted a version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”). The UTSA supplies a framework for imposing liability with respect to the misappropriation of trade secrets. Now, after several years of attempts, the federal government is close to enacting its own version of civil trade secret protection: the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”). The DTSA was introduced in the Senate with three…
The proposition that a customer list can constitute a trade secret is well settled and unremarkable. But because California strongly protects the right to compete, a former employee can lawfully use a trade secret customer list to “announce” a new business affiliation. The question of whether an announcement is a solicitation, or a cover-up for other soliciting activity, is the troubling question California employers face when employees jump to a competitor. Employers often put a…
For now, online retailers can rest assured that they are not liable under California’s Song-Beverly Credit Card Act if they require customers to enter their addresses or phone numbers in order to complete downloadable online purchases.  On February 4, 2013, the California Supreme Court held in Apple Inc. v. Superior Court (Krescent) that the Credit Card Act’s prohibition against recording customers’ personal identification information as a condition of credit card purchases under those circumstances. This…