Implementing and Interpreting the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016
With its common law origin, trade secrecy has long been an integral layer of intellectual property protection. Trade secrets are broadly defined as confidential business information whose secrecy provides an operator with economic advantage. These may include technological information that overlaps with patent rights such as manufacturing techniques or software code, but trade secret protections also extend to pure business information such as customer lists and proft margin information that are not protectable under other IP regimes. The use of “improper” means to uncover another’s trade secret is ordinarily deemed an actionable misappropriation under both civil and criminal law. Most trade secret cases involve situations where an employee has left to join (or found) a competitor. Those cases draw in employment and contract law issues and challenge the fundamental nature of a competitive market.
Defend Trade Secrets Act
In 2016, a bipartisan majority of Congress enacted the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) that provides for a federal civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation as an additional layer to the individual state rights already in existence, as well as for a new seizure order mechanism. Many factors remain unclear. How does the new law integrate with other state law doctrines after considering the federal supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution; how will the seizure orders be implemented; while overlapping, are the federal trade secret rights distinct from state rights; can the federal trade secrecy rights also protect individual privacy?
All events were held in Hulston Hall on the University of Missouri campus.
Featured Speakers included Berkeley Law Professor Peter Menell and Trade Secrets Expert Mark Halligan (among others). Our dynamic keynote speaker was Professor Orly Lobel from the University of San Diego. Professor Lobel is the author of the great book Talent Wants to Be Free. The event is sponsored, in part, by our new journal BETR (The Business Entrepreneurship and Tax Law Review). The focus is partially on protecting information – but also employment law and competition issues that ensue.
Continental breakfast will be provided
|8:35 a.m.||Panel One: Setting the Stage and Creating the Act
R. Mark Halligan
Dennis D. Crouch
|10:15 a.m.||Panel Two: Domestic and International Impacts
Yvette Joy Liebesman
Lunch will be provided
|1:00 p.m.||Keynote Address – Secrecy and Market Power: Aligning Trade Secret Law with Innovation and Competition in Contemporary Markets
About the Center for Intellectual Property & Entrepreneurship
The Center for Intellectual Property & Entrepreneurship at the University of Missouri School of Law promotes faculty symposia and scholarship in all areas involving law and innovation, and develops curricular and extracurricular programming to prepare law students to participate in entrepreneurial and innovation communities. The center also supports the law school’s Office of Career Development in identifying externships, summer positions and full-time jobs within the center’s focus area, and collaborates with campus and community members to generate resources that will increase and promote innovation and entrepreneurship. The center’s focus resides not just on intellectual property, business and finance, but on the intersection of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) issues.The law school also offers an Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic, which represents early-state businesses and helps guide them past the legal barriers faced by many new ventures.