Historically, bank executives have faced civil liability for breach of contract and violations of state laws governing the misappropriation of trade secrets for misusing their employer’s confidential and proprietary information. However, a recent “notice of intent to prohibit” issued by the Federal Reserve indicates that bank executives may now face a much harsher consequence than mere civil liability for misappropriating their employers’ information — namely, a ban from the business of banking altogether.
The newly-enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) represents a significant new weapon for companies to prosecute trade secret violations. Among other features, the DTSA creates a federal cause of action for theft of trade secrets and a provision for judicial ex parte seizure of stolen property, double damages, and attorneys’ fees. Please join Hunton & Williams LLP for a complimentary webinar on August 3, 2016, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (EDT) that will cover the important aspects of the law, including the language that needs to be inserted into employment and confidentiality/non-disclosure agreements to ensure your company can take full advantage of the law.
The recently enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) provides a new form of expedited relief in federal court for owners of misappropriated trade secrets through an ex parte seizure of property. In “extraordinary circumstances,” DTSA permits a court to issue an order to authorize law enforcement officials to seize property – without advanced notice to the accused – in order to prevent the propagation or dissemination of the trade secret. The utilization of this ex parte seizure does not come without risk. Section 2(b)(2)(G) provides that in the case of wrongful or excessive seizure, a person who suffers damages has a cause of action against the applicant and can seek reasonable attorneys’ fees, damages for lost profits, cost of materials, loss of good will and punitive damages.
As we previously reported, the newly-enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) represents a significant new weapon for companies to prosecute trade secret violations. Among other features, the DTSA’s nationwide reach and its provision for judicial seizure, double damages, and attorneys’ fees provide a much more robust enforcement and remedy scheme than is currently available under many state laws.
Congress gave companies a new weapon to fight trade secret theft this week. President Obama signed a law that addresses several issues that often mire trade secret litigation – cross border battles when multiple states are involved, venue and choice of law disputes, and lack of ability to seize trade secrets before they escape a state or the United States. Companies now have a civil federal cause of action (original federal jurisdiction) for trade secret theft and the ability to seize trade secrets through an ex parte temporary injunction procedure that could prove to be incredibly costly for the unfortunate company whose newly hired employee stole trade secrets from a former employer. There will be more to come on these elements over the next few weeks.
In Holton v. Physician Oncology Services, LP, et al., Case No. S13A0012 (May 6, 2013), the Georgia Supreme Court limited the use and application of the inevitable disclosure doctrine by declining to recognize it as an independent cause of action.
The inevitable disclosure doctrine allows an employer to restrict former employees from working for a competitor by demonstrating that the former employees will necessarily rely upon knowledge of the employer’s trade secrets in performing their new job duties.