Intellectual Property Owners Association

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Trade Secret Legislation

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Trade secrets are important property rights. Protecting trade secrets encourages business development and development that ultimately results in higher quality products and new technologies that benefit the public welfare. Congress has consistently protected trade secrets and other intellectual property rights in the past.

On May 11, 2016, President BARACK OBAMA signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act, establishing a federal civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation.  The new law also allows the owner of a misappropriated trade secret to obtain an ex parte seizure to prevent disclosure of the trade secret. In remarks during a signing ceremony, Obama said “one of the biggest advantages that we’ve got in this global economy is that we innovate, we come up with new services, new goods, new products, new technologies.  Unfortunately, all too often, some of our competitors, instead of competing with us fairly, are trying to steal these trade secrets from American companies.  And that means a loss of American jobs, a loss of American markets, a loss of American leadership.”

IPO strongly supports the Defend Trade Secrets Act, which was sponsored by Reps. DOUG COLLINS (R-Ga.) and GERROLD NADLER (D-N.Y.) in the House of Representatives and Sens. ORRIN HATCH (R-Utah) and CHRIS COONS (D-Del.) in the Senate.

Bills:

S. 1890 — Defend Trade Secrets Act A bill to amend chapter 90 of title 18, United States Code, to provide Federal jurisdiction for the theft of trade secrets, and for other purposes. (Sen. Hatch, R-UT; introduced 7/29/15; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary; reported out of Committee and placed on Senate Legislative Calendar 1/28/2016).

H.R. 3326Defend Trade Secrets Act A bill to amend chapter 90 of title 18, United States Code, to provide Federal jurisdiction for the theft of trade secrets, and for other purposes. (Rep. Collins, R-GA; introduced 7/29/15).

S. 884 — Deter Cyber Theft Act A bill to require the Director of National Intelligence to develop a watch list and a priority watch list of foreign countries that engage in economic or industrial espionage in cyberspace with respect to United States trade secrets or proprietary information, and for other purposes. (Sen. Levin, D-MI; introduced 05/07/13; read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance).

S. 1770 — Future of American Innovation and Research Act A bill to provide for Federal civil liability for trade secret misappropriation in certain circumstances. (Sen. Flake, R-AZ; introduced 11/22/2013; read twice and referred to the Committee on Judiciary).

S. 2267 — Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2014 A bill to modify chapter 90 of title 18, United States Code, to provide Federal jurisdiction for theft of trade secrets. (Sen. Coons, D-DE; introduced 4/29/2014; read twice and referred to the Committee on Judiciary).

H.R. 5233Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2014 A bill to modify chapter 90 of title 18, United States Code, to provide Federal jurisdiction for theft of trade secrets. (Rep. Holding, R-NC/ introduced 7/29/14; read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary; reported to the House on 12/11/14).

Documents:

IPO Comments to Senate Judiciary Committee in Support of S. 1890, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015, 11/30/2015
Thaddeus Burns’s Testimony to House IP Subcommittee re: Trade Secrets, 06/24/2014
IPO Comments re Request for Public Comments on "Trade Secret Theft Strategy Legislative Review", 04/22/2013
IPO Letter to Negotiators of the Rio + 20 Conference, 06/19/2012
IPO Letter Supporting Protection for Trade Secrets in H.R. 3534, 07/29/2010