President Obama just signed into law S. 1890 - Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 authored by Sens. Orrin Hatch and Chris Coons with numerous cosponsors. The legislation enjoyed massive bipartisan support, passing the House 410-2 and the Senate 87-0.
As recently as two years ago, Texas practitioners had only common law to look to when it came to trade secret misappropriation. In 2013, the Texas Legislature passed the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUTSA), which included significant parts of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA). The new DTSA creates a private cause of action for trade secret misappropriation that can be brought in federal courts by amending the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) to, among other things, incorporate some of the concepts in the UTSA.
Dennis Crouch has created a mark-up (with commentary) of the new law that shows the DTSA as amendments to the Economic Espionage Act (EEA), along with links to his numerous posts on the Act here at Patently-O.com. Peter J. Toren also has a useful article on the Act here at IPWatchdog.com.
The DTSA has been described as the most important IP legislation to be enacted in quite some time, as it creates a fourth form of federally protected intellectual property, with trade secrets joining patents, copyright and trademark as IP the taking of which can be heard in federal court. While the DTSA's definition of misappropriation isn't new to those that spend their evening curled up with a glass of wine and a dog-eared copy of the UTSA, its definition of what constitutes a "trade secret" is somewhat broader than state law. If that novel development isn't enough to get your blood going, it provides for ex parte seizures of misappropriated trade secrets (didn't see that coming, did you?) and has protections for whistle blowers, i.e. disclosures to government officials or attorneys to report a violation of law.