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How to Protect Information Under the Defend Trade Secrets Act

Author: Melissa A. Silver, XpertHR Legal Editor

Employers have a legitimate need to protect their trade secrets and/or their proprietary information from public disclosure for several reasons, including ensuring a competitive edge in the industry.

One measure an employer may take to protect its interests is to gain an understanding of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) and how it may benefit from the law. Specifically, the DTSA standardizes and strengthens an employer's legal remedies and protections by allowing an employer to file a private cause of action in federal court for trade secret misappropriation (i.e. acquisition by improper means, such as theft or bribery). Prior to the DTSA, employers were left with a patchwork of state laws providing trade secret protection and a limited ability to file a claim in federal court to safeguard their trade secrets.

Employers can reap the benefits of the DTSA with the following steps.