Lex Machina Releases 2021 Trade Secret Litigation Report

Trade Secret case filings under the DTSA over the last five years remained steady through the pandemic

Menlo Park, CA — June 24, 2021Today, Lex Machina and LexisNexis release their Trade Secret Litigation Report, which covers Trade Secret litigation trends in federal district court. It focuses on the five-year period of 2016 to 2020 and includes looks at emerging trends in cases filed under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), injunctions, and the impact of COVID-19.

“While filing numbers under the DTSA have remained steady since 2017, we are still awaiting findings at trial,” said Rachel Bailey, Lex Machina’s Trade Secret Legal Data Expert and author of the report. “DTSA trends do appear to generally mirror state law trends, likely as there are a lot of cases with both claims pleaded simultaneously. Practitioners have not solely changed over to filing under the DTSA and often litigate parallel claims in federal court. ”

Findings from the report include:

  • Trade Secret case filings have remained steady since 2017, even through the pandemic.
  • As 72.9% of Trade Secret cases in 2020 and 72.5% of cases in 2019 included claims under the DTSA, Trade Secret case filings may have reached a new normal.
  • The Central District of California heard the highest number of Trade Secret cases (397 cases or 5.9% of the total case count) from 2016 to 2020.
  • Judge Mazzant from the Eastern District of Texas presided over the highest number of Trade Secret cases (50 cases) from 2016 to 2020.
  • The most active plaintiff in the period from 2016 to 2020 was Allstate Insurance Company with 31, while Ahern Rentals, Inc. was the most active plaintiff in 2020 with 24 cases, which were part of a multidistrict litigation group of cases.
  • The two most active plaintiffs’ law firms in the period from 2016 to 2020 were Littler Mendelson with 129 cases and Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart with 128 cases, while Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani was the most active plaintiffs’ law firm in 2020 with 41 cases.
  • The most active defendants’ law firm in the period from 2016 to 2020 was Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart with 64 cases, while Baker McKenzie was the most active defendants’ law firm in 2020 with 21 cases.
  • Over the five-year period from 2016 to 2020, the majority of Trade Secret cases were resolved by settlement (67% of cases) or on procedural grounds (16% of cases).
  • In 2020, courts awarded a larger amount of damages in the same number of Trade Secret cases as in 2019. For cases terminating in the last five years, Other/Mixed Damage Types had the highest total damages with $606 million awarded in 28 cases.

Lex Machina’s reports and software enable practitioners to devise data-driven litigation strategies. The metrics in this report may help readers decide who to pursue as clients, whether to pursue a particular motion, or when to settle. This research supplements traditional legal research and anecdotal data for a competitive edge in litigation.

Register here for a copy of the report.

Trade Secret Report Webcast
Lex Machina is hosting a webcast to discuss the report on June 24, 2021 at noon ET/9am PT with Dawn Mertineit, Partner at Seyfarth Shaw, Seth Gerber, Partner at Morgan Lewis, and Gloria Huang, Legal Content Associate at Lex Machina. Register for the event or view a recording.

About LexisNexis Legal & Professional
LexisNexis Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of legal, regulatory and business information and analytics that help customers increase productivity, improve decision-making and outcomes, and advance the rule of law around the world. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 160 countries with 10,400 employees worldwide, is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.

About Lex Machina
Lex Machina fundamentally changes how companies and law firms compete in the business and practice of law. The company provides strategic insights on judges, lawyers, law firms, parties, and other critical information across 17 federal practice areas and a rapidly growing number of state courts. Lex Machina allows law firms and companies to predict the behaviors and outcomes that different legal strategies will produce, enabling them to win cases and close business.

Lex Machina was named “2021 Legal Technology Trailblazer” (National Law Journal Trailblazer Awards, 2021), Winner of the “Media Excellence” Award for Analytics/Big Data (13th Annual Media Excellence Award, 2021), “Best Decision Management Solution” (AI Breakthrough Awards, 2019), and “Disruptor of the Year” (Changing Lawyer Awards, 2019). Based in Silicon Valley, Lex Machina is part of LexisNexis, a leading global provider of legal, regulatory, and business information and analytics. For more information, please visit www.lexmachina.com.

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