Snapshot of Trade Secret Developments

47 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2018 Last revised: 2 Mar 2019

See all articles by Elizabeth A. Rowe

Elizabeth A. Rowe

University of Virginia School of Law

Date Written: September 9, 2018


As we enter the second year post enactment of the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, this Paper presents a snapshot of developments to assess whether there appear to be any significant doctrinal changes afoot in trade secret litigation, both civil and criminal, during the past year. I take a qualitative look at some of the substantive rulings from 2017 to date. My assessment based on this limited sampling is that there do not appear to be any dramatic changes to the doctrinal development of the law to date.

The paper highlights some noteworthy civil cases from select federal and state courts. The cases are organized topically to provide the reader with a quick overview of recent rulings in various categories, from stating a claim for trade secret misappropriation to discovery related issues including protective orders, as well as damages and injunctive relief. The Paper also includes updates on criminal convictions and indictments under the Economic Espionage Act over the past year. These “headlines” from the Department of Justice are intended to provide a flavor of the types of cases that are selected for federal criminal prosecution for trade secret misappropriation and espionage.

Keywords: trade secrets, defend trade secrets act, misappropriation, utsa, uniform trade secrets act, employment, improper means, dtsa, eea, economic espinonage act, reasonable efforts, protective order, damages, whistleblower, identification

JEL Classification: K2, K10, K19, K29

Suggested Citation

Rowe, Elizabeth A., Snapshot of Trade Secret Developments (September 9, 2018). 60 William & Mary Law Review Online 45 (2019), Available at SSRN:

Elizabeth A. Rowe (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States


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