LitigationPatent

Ninth Circuit Gives Guidance on Specification of Trade Secrets Under the Defend Trade Secrets Act

Two of the most important issues in trade secret cases involve the timing of when the plaintiff is required to identify its alleged trade secrets and the degree of specificity with which they must be identified. However, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) fails to address either of these issues, and most state courts have not agreed on unform standards. In comparison, for example, under Section 2019.210 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, a plaintiff is required to identify its alleged trade secrets with reasonable particularity “to limit the permissible scope of discovery by distinguishing the trade secrets from matters of general knowledge in the trade or of special knowledge of those persons skilled in the trade.” Now the Ninth Circuit in InteliClear LLC v. ETC Global Holdings, Inc., 978 F. F. 3d. 653 (9th Cir. 2020) has held that the DTSA also includes the requirement that the plaintiff must identify, depending on the stage of the litigation, with sufficient particularity to provide the defendant with notice as to the identity of the trade secrets at  issue.

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