The American Bar Association estimates that the market value of S&P 500 companies can include as much as 75% of intangible assets. This is quite an increase over a 1975 estimate indicating that less than 20% of these companies’ collective market value consisted of intangible assets.
A good portion of these intangible assets is intellectual property, which includes patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. As you may be aware, there is now federal jurisdiction for trade-secret theft. The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) was signed into law May 11, 2016, after being unanimously passed in the Senate and ratified in the House by a vote of 410-2. The DTSA became immediately effective for all trade-secret misappropriation taking place after the bill’s signing date.