Lex Machina is proud to release its 2023 Trade Secret Litigation Report, which provides insights into trade secret litigation trends in federal district court and appellate court over the five-year period from 2018 to 2022. This report surveys emerging trends in case filings (including federal appellate cases), most active venues, judges, law firms, parties, timing metrics, case resolutions, findings, and damages. The report often focuses on different sets of data, e.g., filtering cases in order to provide analytics on general trade secret cases, Defend Trade Secret Act (“DTSA”) cases, and federal appellate trade secret cases.

Key Trends and Highlights from the report include:

  • In 2022, 1,156 trade secret cases were litigated in federal district courts, a 7% decrease from the number of trade secret cases the year before and a 17% decrease from the highest number of trade secret cases filed in any year over the past decade (1,394 cases filed in 2017).
  • The proportion of trade secret cases filed in 2022 that involved DTSA claims was 80%, representing a 10% increase from 2018 when the proportion was 70%.
  • In the five-year period from 2018 to 2022, the highest number of trade secret cases was filed in the Central District of California, while Judge Pitman from the Western District of Texas was the most active judge for trade secret cases.
  • In the five-year period from 2018 to 2022, JTH Tax LLC was the most active plaintiff.
  • Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani was the most active counsel representing plaintiffs in trade secret cases in the five-year period from 2018 to 2022, while Littler Mendelson represented defendants in the highest number of trade secret cases over the same period of time.
  • For trade secret cases that were appealed to a federal appellate court and terminated from 2018 to 2022 with a decision on the merits of the appeal, 39% were ultimately reversed.
  • $542 million in total damages were awarded as Punitive / Willfulness Damages from 2018 to 2022.

View our infographic.

Trade Secret cases files

Legal Analytics is used for planning, budgeting, and litigation strategy. The metrics in this report can help readers decide who to pursue as clients, whether to file a particular motion, or when to settle (and for how much). This research supplements traditional legal research and anecdotal data in order to gain a competitive edge in litigation.

Lex Machina hosted a webcast to discuss the report on July 13, 2023 with Dawn Mertineit (Partner at Seyfarth Shaw), Jeremy Elman (Partner at Duane Morris), Kim Cauthorn (Intellectual Property Leader at Willis Towers Watson), Elaine Chow (Lex Machina’s Legal Data Expert in Trade Secret Litigation), and Aria Nejad (Lex Machina’s in-house counsel). View a recording of the webcast.

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