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Trade Secret Seizure Best Practices Under the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016

Timothy T. Lau
June 28, 2017
Available Online Only

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), Pub. L. No. 114-153, became law on May 11, 2016. It amends 18 U.S.C. § 1836 to create a private right of action for the misappropriation of trade secrets “for which any act occurs on or after the date of the enactment” and where the trade secrets “[are] related to [] product[s] or service[s] used in, or intended for use in, interstate or foreign commerce.”  The DTSA directs that, not later than two years after the date of enactment of the Act, the Federal Judicial Center, "using existing resources, shall develop recommended best practices for (1) the seizure of information and media storing the information; and (2) the securing of the information and media once seized."

These trade secret seizure best practices were developed in response to the DTSA’s mandate and are based on the limited initial experience in the federal courts with 18 U.S.C. § 1836(b)(2). They are being circulated prior to the due date of May 11, 2018, so that courts can benefit from having early guidance on the subject matter. The Center will update these best practices as needed.