Civil Seizure Under Defense of Trade Secrets Act Places High Burden on Plaintiff

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

In a decision involving an employer’s assertion of the Defense of Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) against former employees, the plaintiff Center for Advancing Innovation ("the Center") sought an order for civil seizure of the defendant Bahreini’s electronic devices under the DTSA and injunctive relief.  In denying the relief requested, U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel found that the Center failed to make a clear showing that it was likely to succeed on the merits because it did not show which, if any, files met the definition of a trade secret under the DTSA.  Judge Hazel found that the defendant was able to demonstrate that numerous files that the Center claimed as trade secrets were actually publicly available online, thereby causing the Court to doubt the Center's representations concerning what information qualified as trade secrets.  Judge Hazel also found that the Center did not clearly show a likelihood of irreparable harm because defendant Bahreini had not disseminated any of the Center's information to third parties.  Center for Advancing Innovation, Inc. v. Bahreini, Case No. GJH-18-1119, 2018 WL 2100279 (D. Md. May 4, 2018).