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What is the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015?

As a business owner in Miami, you enjoy some state and federal protections for your intellectual property such as patents, copyrights and trade secrets. The level of protection you enjoy may depend on the scope of your business, though. According to the National Law Review, the federal criminal legislation that protects your trade secrets across state lines or internationally does not provide the right to corresponding civil action in federal courts. Legislators are attempting to remedy this with the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015.

The protections for your trade secrets provided by state laws are somewhat similar to each other. However, the differences in the interpretation and enforcement of these may make it impossible for you to receive equal treatment from one state to the next. In fact, even if your business does not cross state lines, you may still benefit from the DTSA if you are in a district that is not quick to rule in favor of trade secret protection.

Violations of the DTSA have well-defined damages that may be awarded to you, such as actual losses, reasonable attorney’s fees, royalties and compensation for the money earned by the person or entity that stole your trade secret. Punitive damages may also be available to you in some situations. If you realize that your property has been stolen, the DTSA would allow you to apply to the federal court for a seizure of the intellectual property to prevent it from being used. 

This brief summary of the DTSA is provided for educational purposes only. Therefore, it should not be interpreted as legal advice. 

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