The Defend Trade Secrets Act Whistleblower Immunity Provision: A Legislative History
University of Missouri School of Law Business, Entrepreneurship & Tax Law Review, Forthcoming
38 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2017 Last revised: 14 Dec 2017
Date Written: November 8, 2017
On May 11, 2016, President Barack Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) into law. This historic legislation was the product of a multi-year effort to federalize trade secret protection. In the final stages of drafting the law, Senators Grassley and Leahy introduced an important new element: immunity “for whistleblowers who share confidential information in the course of reporting suspected illegal activity to law enforcement or when filing a lawsuit, provided they do so under seal.” The meaning and scope of this provision are of vital importance to enforcing health, safety, civil rights, financial market, consumer, and environmental protections and deterring fraud against the government, shareholders, and the public. This article explains how the whistleblower immunity provision was formulated and offers insights into its proper interpretation.
Keywords: Defend Trade Secret Act, Whistleblower, Immunity, Trade Secret, DTSA
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