Lex Machina Releases 2023 Trade Secret Litigation Report

July 13, 2023

Since the enactment of the DTSA in 2016, courts have seen an overall decrease in trade secret cases filed, while the proportion of cases involving DTSA claims has increased


Menlo Park, CA — Lex Machina, a LexisNexis company, today releases its annual Trade Secret Litigation Report. The report examines trends in trade secret litigation in federal district courts and appellate courts. Focusing on the five-year period from 2018 to 2022, it surveys emerging trends in case filings, 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.

“The data and analytics in this report has uncovered an intriguing phenomenon,” said Elaine Chow, Lex Machina’s trade secret legal data expert and editor of the report. “By monitoring trade secret case filings year over year, and by filtering down to specific subsets of cases, we can see that there was an overall decline in trade secret cases since the DTSA was enacted in 2016. However, our data also revealed that the proportion of trade secret cases that involved DTSA claims increased over the same period of time. This provides a data-driven perspective into the effect of the DTSA on trade secret litigation.”

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.

Lex Machina’s reports and software enable practitioners to devise data-driven litigation strategies. 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 for a competitive edge in court.

Register here for a copy of the report: https://pages.lexmachina.com/2023TradeSecretReport_LP.html

Trade Secret Litigation Report Webcast
Lex Machina is hosting a webcast to discuss the report on July 13, 2023 at noon ET/9am PT 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). Register for the event or view a recording: https://pages.lexmachina.com/2023TradeSecretReportWebcast_LP.html


About LexisNexis Legal & Professional
LexisNexis Legal & Professional® provides legal, regulatory, and business information and analytics that help customers increase their productivity, improve decision-making, achieve better 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 150 countries with 11,300 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 20 federal practice areas and a rapidly growing number of state courts. Lex Machina allows law firms and companies to anticipate the behaviors and outcomes that different legal strategies will produce, enabling them to win cases and close business.
Lex Machina was named one of “Legal Tech’s Most Promising Solution Providers” (CIO Review Awards 2022), “Greater Bay Area Top Workplaces 2022” (The San Francisco Chronicle Top Workplaces in the Bay Area 2022), “Legal Tech Company of the Year 2021" (CIO Review, 2021), “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). 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.