Trade Secrets



Trade secret litigation—and the stakes for litigants—are skyrocketing.  In just the first year after the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act was passed in 2016, trade secret claims increased by over thirty percent.  Approximately 1,400 new cases were filed in federal courts alone in 2019, with successful federal plaintiffs awarded more than $45 million total for their trade secret claims.

Gibson Dunn’s deep bench of trade secret litigators are poised to quickly and deftly assist our clients in prosecuting or defending against trade secret allegations and claims—including in high-stakes trials and on appeal—no matter the context.

Employment.  Our leading labor and employment attorneys routinely investigate, pursue, and defend allegations of trade secret misappropriation from high-level executives and employees with special skills, quickly mobilizing to protect our clients’ most valuable intangible assets.  The firm’s lawyers have collectively investigated, prosecuted, or defended hundreds of such allegations.  We also advise our clients on bringing related claims—including breach of fiduciary duty claims—in addition to or instead of trade secret claims.

Criminal.  Government focus on enforcing intellectual property laws has arguably never been higher.  Gibson Dunn’s deep bench of former civil and criminal prosecutors and Department of Justice lawyers have extensive experience and strong working relationships with the state and federal agencies pursuing such investigations.  Our firm has considerable success helping clients navigate these investigations—whether as targets or third parties under subpoena—and convincing the government not to pursue trade secret claims against our clients.

Corporate Disputes.  Trade secret claims have also become one of the most powerful tools in business litigation between competitors or other parties to complex commercial disputes—especially in the technology and services industries.  Gibson Dunn’s lawyers routinely and successfully both defend against and bring trade secret claims or counterclaims on behalf of our clients—either alone or in conjunction with other business claims like breach of contract and fraud.  And our intellectual property group has deep experience trying and winning trade secret claims related to hardware or software design in conjunction with or in lieu of patent claims.

In addition to the firm’s public matters, Gibson Dunn’s trade secret lawyers also understand the sensitive nature of trade secret allegations even before litigation.  We routinely conduct confidential and comprehensive internal investigations for our clients when misappropriation is suspected, and we counsel our clients on risk management policies to protect our clients’ trade secrets and against such allegations in the first instance.  Indeed, for every public trade secrets success, there are many more matters that our members resolve quickly, quietly, and confidentially.