May 27, 2016
From Missouri Lawyers Weekly

by David Donovan

The world’s most famous trade secret, the vigilantly guarded recipe for Coca-Cola, is kept in a purpose-built vault in the company’s Atlanta headquarters.
Most trade secrets, however, are kept on computers, where they are decidedly more vulnerable to hackers and avaricious employees. Most are not as valuable as the Coke recipe, but they are highly valuable nevertheless — one malicious click of a send button can instantly destroy the value of assets worth millions of dollars to their rightful owners.
In response to the increasing vulnerability of trade secrets, Congress passed with near-unanimous votes the Defend Trade Secrets Act, which President Obama signed into law May 11. The law for the first time creates a civil cause of action in federal courts for misappropriation of trade secrets, which had previously been exclusively the domain of state courts. Intellectual property attorneys say that the law will help companies more easily pursue trade secret theft across both state and international borders.

“I think making the law more uniform will have benefit to many folks,” said Pat Woolley, a leader in Polsinelli’s intellectual property practice in Kansas City.

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