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Seth Sproul, left, and Tucker Terhufen, right, with Fish & Richardson. Seth Sproul, left, and Tucker Terhufen, right, with Fish & Richardson.

California trade secret law, through California Code of Civil Procedure §2019.210, presents a statutory framework unique among state and federal trade secret laws that requires trade secret plaintiffs to identify the misappropriated trade secrets before discovery commences. This requirement serves to deter meritless trade secret actions, define the scope of relevant discovery, and provide notice to defendants so they may fashion their defenses accordingly. Understanding what this provision does—and does not—require is critical for trade secret litigants.

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