is the lead of Finnegan‘s IP specialties practice group. He focuses on intellectual property litigation and counseling, with particular emphasis on patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation actions before U.S. district courts, arbitration panels, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Mr. Williamson serves as lead litigation counsel on complex disputes spanning a wide range of technical subject matter areas, including telecommunications, software, consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices.
The current extraterritorial reach of U.S. trade secret law may seem ironic given trade secret law’s “local” roots. In the United States, common law trade secret principles emerged through a diverse patchwork of state court decisions addressing local commercial disputes. These local common law principles were first distilled in the Restatement of Torts and the Restatement of Unfair Competition and then codified in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act in 1979. Underscoring the local prerogative of trade secret law, state legislatures modified and tailored the Uniform Trade Secrets Act to reflect their state-specific concerns and needs. For many years, despite a push for national uniformity, a number of states chose not to adopt a statutory scheme at all (some still haven’t).