Protecting Trade Secrets with an Effective Need-to-Know Policy

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Common to trade secret protection statutes is the requirement that companies make reasonable efforts under the circumstances to protect information considered a trade secret. The definition of a trade secret relied on by the recently enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) is no different. Under the federal definition, information is a trade secret if “the owner thereof has taken reasonable efforts to keep such information secret.” It should be expected that a defendant facing a claim of misappropriation of trade secrets may argue the steps a trade secret owner has taken to protect its trade secrets are not reasonable.

Reprinted with permission from the Dec. 16 issue of Corporate Counsel (c) 2016 ALM Media Properties, LLC. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.

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