On October 7, 2021, Charles Monterio was featured in a Q&A with Westlaw Journal Intellectual Property providing insight on the Defend Trade Secret Act of 2016 (DTSA). The following is an excerpt:
What exactly is a trade secret, and in what ways, unknown to the average person, does it differ from other intellectual property?
From beverage recipes and manufacturing processes, to computer algorithms and customer lists, trade secrets often play a vital role in successful businesses. A trade secret is any information used in one’s business that derives economic value from being kept secret. Trade secrets are virtually any information that gives companies a creative competitive edge, from innovative designs and formulas to data like customer lists. Trade secret law serves as the primary alternative to the patent system. Unlike patents, however, trade secrets are protected indefinitely for as long as they remain a secret. In contrast to the other three types of intellectual property that are governed primarily by federal law (i.e., patents, copyrights and trademarks), trade secrets historically were primarily governed under state law, and thus owners of trade secrets had more limited legal recourse when their rights were violated by others.