Apr 13, 2016

Senate Passes Defend Trade Secrets Act

The bill, introduced July 29, 2015 by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and co-sponsored by nearly two-thirds of the Senate membership, has widespread support in both the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as in the business and manufacturing community.

"Trade secrets are the only form of intellectual property that lack protection under federal civil law," Sen. Hatch has said. The legislation would offer businesses greater legal protection when their trade secrets are stolen, and costs business billions of dollars each year, when that intellectual property is leaked and sold to competitors.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), who partnered with Sen. Hatch on the bill had said "It is clear that Democrats and Republicans in both chambers recognize that American businesses continue losing significant revenue and American jobs to trade secret theft, a national problem the bill intends to fix."

The same day as Senate passage, the White House released a Statement of Administration Policy, supporting the legislation and stating that the "Administration has placed high priority on mitigating and combating the theft of trade secrets, as exemplified in the Administration's Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement, the Administration's Strategy on Mitigating the Theft of U.S. Trade Secrets, and Executive Order 13694 authorizing sanctions on those who perpetrate cyber-enabled trade secret theft. S. 1890 would provide important protection to the Nation's businesses and industries, including through the establishment of a Federal civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation, which would effectively build upon current Federal law and various State laws that have largely adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. As such, the Administration strongly supports the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 and looks forward to working with the Congress on this important piece of legislation as it moves through the legislative process."

An identical companion bill in the House of Representatives, H.R.3326, was referred to the House the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet on Oct. 1, 2015.

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