United States of America: Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (Public Law No. 114-153)

May 11, 2016

United States of America: The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (Public Law No. 114-153) was passed by the Congress on April 27, 2016. It was signed into law by the President and became Public Law No. 114-153 on May 11, 2016.

The Act makes important amendments to the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1831 et seq., which include inter alia: (i) creating a federal private civil action and a federal civil remedy such as damage, injunction and civil seizure order for trade secret misappropriation; (ii) adding definitions for "misappropriation" of trade secrets and "improper means" to acquire trade secrets; (iii) increasing the maximum penalty for trade secret theft from $5 million to the greater of $5 million or 3 times the value of the stolen trade secret; (iv) and providing immunity to employees from liability (whistleblower protection) for confidential disclosure of information to the government or in a court filing.