Article: “If Your Confidentiality Agreements Do Not Comply With New Federal Law, You Are Leaving Money On The Table”

Here’s the situation: you, a business, believe you have secret information that gives you a leg up on your competition. You likely refer to it as “proprietary,” “confidential,” and your “trade secrets,” whether plans, designs, procedures, methods, or other form of information. To help ensure this information stays secret and keep your competitive advantage, you (hopefully) enter into agreements that require employees, independent contractors, and vendors keep your information confidential.

Historically, if you suspected someone of purloining your business information, your legal options were most likely limited to pursuing a state court lawsuit. There you would allege that the offender breached a contract or misappropriated trade secrets–straightforward violations of state law. If you were successful, you might recover some money for your injury, maybe some added money for punishment of the offender, and possibly even money for the attorneys’ fees you spent.

Just recently, however, the federal government decided to get in on the action, enacting into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) on May 11, 2016. At first glance, your reaction might be “who cares?” But this new law does affect you.  (Read the complete article)

Andrew R. Nelson is a shareholder at Friedman Stroffe & Gerard, P.C., a full-service business law firm based in Irvine. His practice emphasizes cost-effective resolution of disputes. Contact him at or 949-265-1110.