The Defend Trade Secrets Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama on Wednesday, May 11.

Business owners and executives still have certain protections based on state intellectual property laws, but now additional federal protections may also be available to them.

Gunster attorney Robert C. White Jr., a leader of the firm’s technology and emerging companies practice groups, described the benefits and drawbacks of the DTSA in the Daily Business Review.

Among the pros he lists is a broader definition of trade secrets, to include “public economic value,” and aggressive potential remedies.

Also, White notes that because existing trade secret laws in the U.S. are already perceived to offer the greatest protections worldwide, this federal law further bolsters the perception and may lead to an increase in actions brought by foreign companies in the U.S.

As for the cons noted in the article, because DTSA doesn’t replace state trade secret laws, it adds complexity to the area of law without offering a actual uniform system of trade secret law – which can lead to questions of whether state or federal court is most appropriate for each set of circumstances. Notably, White says the new law won’t significantly affect cyberattacks targeting trade secrets, one of the concerns driving development of the DTSA.

Read the article: New federal law provides additional protection for trade secrets (Daily Business Review, 5/13/16) – note: subscription required


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