"Defend Trade Secrets Act" Introduced in House and Senate

“Defend Trade Secrets Act” Introduced in House and Senate

WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Doug Collins (R-Ga.), along with a bipartisan coalition of members, introduced the “Defend Trade Secrets Act”. The legislation will help combat the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars each year in the United States to the theft of corporate trade secrets. The “Defend Trade Secrets Act” would empower companies to protect their trade secrets in federal court by creating a federal private right-of-action. In the Senate, identical legislation was introduced by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). Congressman Collins and several of his colleagues issued the following statements upon the introduction of the bill:

“Protecting the trade secrets of American businesses is crucial to keeping our country a leader in the world economy,” said Rep. Doug Collins. “Providing a federal civil remedy will create certainty for companies throughout the nation, including in my home state of Georgia.  Congress has the responsibility to give industries the tools they need to protect their intellectual property and thus encourage job creation and economic growth. Trade secret theft is costing America billions of dollars and that price tag will continue to grow as technology and thieves become more sophisticated. I appreciate the tireless work of my House and Senate colleagues in advancing this critical legislation.”   

"The value of trade secrets to U.S. companies is matched only by their tremendous vulnerability to theft," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler. “Innovative technologies have made it easy to obtain information and transfer it across the globe with the click of a cell phone, tablet, or computer key. At the same time, U.S. companies are increasingly targeted for trade secret theft by competitors, with some foreign governments actively encouraging and facilitating the theft of U.S. trade secrets. In light of their value and vulnerability, it is essential that Congress provide robust protection for trade secrets and pass our bill.”

“Trade secrets, like patents or copyrights, are a form of intellectual property. And they're valuable. For instance, American companies spend more than $400 billion on research and development each year -- more than double the amount Chinese companies spend,” said Rep. George Holding. “Unfortunately, it's a fact that billions in intellectual property is stolen each year through economic espionage, including cyber-attacks by foreign companies and governments. This bill -- the “Defend Trade Secrets Act” -- will give American businesses new, and more effective, legal tools to protect their trade secrets from that kind of theft.”

“U.S. firms lose billions of dollars each year due to trade secret theft,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. “The FBI continues to work diligently to address the threat presented to our nation’s economy, but more is needed. The option of a federal civil cause of action is another arrow in the quiver to strike at the heart of trade secret misappropriation. My colleagues on the Judiciary Committee should be commended for their role in bringing the “Defend Trade Secrets Act” to life.”

“Trade secrets are the lifeblood of modern invention and innovation, and protecting them from actions as large as sophisticated cyber attacks or as small as the simple theft of someone else’s idea, is important to American businesses both large and small,” said Rep. Steve Chabot. “Unfortunately, this happens every day and directly threatens American jobs and future business success. As Chairman of the Small Business Committee, I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the “Defend Trade Secrets Act”, because it makes sure victims have the recourse they need to protect what they have created."

“U.S. companies rely on trade secrets for their success. Yet, businesses of all sizes are facing increasing trade secret theft and ultimately the loss of billions of dollars and jobs. They have struggled to protect trade secrets due to ever-evolving innovative technology and a lack of a civil cause of action to address it. In an effort to combat outright theft of trade secrets, my colleagues and I proudly introduce the “Defend Trade Secrets Act”, bipartisan legislation that will create a civil cause of action and allow companies to defend their rights in federal court. The legislation will provide American companies new tools and much-needed stronger trade secret protection, " said Rep. John Conyers, Jr..

Original cosponsors of the “Defend Trade Secrets Act” include Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.), Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), and Rep. Ted Deutch (R-Fla.).

Below is a list of organizations and companies who support the “Defend Trade Secrets Act”:

Association of Global Automakers, Inc., Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), The Boeing Company, Boston Scientific, BSA|The Software Alliance (BSA), Caterpillar Inc., Corning Incorporated, Eli Lilly and Company, General Electric, Honda, IBM, Illinois Tool Works Inc., Intel, The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), International Fragrance Association, North America, Johnson & Johnson, Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA), Medtronic, Micron, National Alliance for Jobs and Innovation (NAJI), National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), The New England Council, NIKE, Pfizer, The Procter & Gamble Company, Siemens, Corporation Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, United Technologies Corporation, 3M


Click here for a one page summary of the bill.

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