Wow, that was fast! We recently blogged about the revised Defend Trade Secrets Act, which passed the Senate on April 4, 2016, by an 87-0 vote. On April 20, the House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed the same bill. The next step is for the full House to consider the bill, and then it goes on to the president’s desk. This is expected to happen quickly.
As we reported, one controversial aspect of the bill is its provision for ex parte seizure of “property necessary to prevent the propagation or dissemination of the trade secret.” Amendments made to the original bill by the Senate were intended to address the concern that this remedy could be abused. The amendments included making the remedy available only in “extraordinary circumstances,” placing limits on the scope of the seizing official’s authority, and expressly stating that any injunction issued under the act may not conflict with applicable state law prohibiting restraints on employment.
No further amendments were introduced by the House Judiciary Committee, and the bill passed by unanimous voice vote.
Stay tuned for the next stage. In our blog, we will dissect the final version of the act as soon as it becomes law, to assist employers with changes that may be needed in written employment policies, nondisclosure policies, and litigation strategy.