In the second program in the 2022 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, Seyfarth partners Jesse Coleman, Dan Hart, and Caitlin Lane discussed how to identify the greatest threats to trade secrets, provided tips and best practices for protecting trade secrets abroad, and covered enforcement mechanisms and remedies internationally and in the US.
As a follow up to this webinar, our team wanted to highlight:
- US Law provides two key statutes with civil remedies for protecting trade secrets where the misappropriation occurs extraterritorially – ITC Section 337 (19 U.S.C. § 1337) and the Defend Trade Secrets Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1837-each with different remedies, requirements of applicability, and pros/cons.
- Employers should ensure that their employment agreements include favorable choice-of-law, venue, and forum-selection clauses to increase the likelihood that any subsequent legal proceeding for trade secret misappropriation occurs in a location that is likely to recognize and protect the company’s intellectual property.
- Employers should form a well-rounded, strategic approach to global defense of trade secrets and leverage multiple protective mechanisms including restrictive covenants, notice periods, contractual agreements and statutory protections.
- Restrictive covenants should be tailored for jurisdictional requirements and nuances – one-size does not fit all when it comes to protecting trade secrets across multiple countries.
- Employers should implement a holistic strategy for protecting trade secrets at every stage of the employment relationship, from onboarding to pre-litigation enforcement efforts post-termination, with coordination between HR, Legal, IT, and other stakeholders within the company.
- Practical measures should also be taken to protect confidential information and trade secrets, including limiting access to sensitive information, using exit interviews, and (provided that applicable privacy laws are followed) monitoring use of company IT resources and conducting forensic investigations of departing employees’ computer devices.