By Shannon Hampton Sutherland and Julian A. Jackson-Fannin
On September 27, 2016, in Adams Arms, LLC v. Unified Weapon Systems, Inc., et al., the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida issued one of the first substantive opinions concerning claims brought under the new Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”).
The DTSA, which became effective on May, 11, 2016, expanded the jurisdiction of federal courts by, among other things, creating a new federal civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation when “the trade secret is related to a product or service used in, or intended for use in, interstate or foreign commerce.” Although the DTSA has been hailed as the new “national standard for trade secret misappropriation,” with certain exceptions, its provisions are largely consistent with the well-known Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”) currently adopted by 48 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The DTSA prohibits both the improper “acquisition” of a trade secret as well as its “disclosure.” As the DTSA continues to make its first impressions on federal courts around the country, threshold questions have arisen concerning the timing of misappropriations and what theories of recovery apply under the freshly minted law. Continue reading “A Call to Arms: How Timing Matters Under the New Defend Trade Secrets Act”