(WASHINGTON) – Today, a bipartisan coalition of six House Judiciary Committee members introduced, H.R. 5233, the “Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014.” The legislation creates a civil cause of action for companies to enforce their rights and safeguard trade secrets.
The bipartisan coalition includes Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee John Conyers Jr. (D-MI), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Rep. George Holding (R-NC), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Howard Coble (R-NC), and Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH). All are members of the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet.
Introduction of the “Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014” follows a House Judiciary Committee hearing that established the need for a federal civil remedy for trade secret protection. The legislation is part of a bipartisan, bicameral legislative effort to amend the Economic Espionage Act of 1996. The bill will help create a federal civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation within the Act’s definition of misappropriation and does not preempt state law.
Ranking Member Rep. John Conyers (D-MI): "Trade secrets are fundamental to the success of any business. U.S. companies have struggled to protect trade secrets due to innovative technology. To combat further economic damage of trade secret theft, my colleagues and I worked together to draft bipartisan legislation that will create a civil cause of action and allow companies to enforce their rights in federal court.”
Rep. George Holding (R-NC): “American businesses face relentless cyber security threats every day, costing our economy billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs each year. As a way to help create jobs, grow our economy and protect our businesses, I have introduced the Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014. This bill will help supply American businesses, both large and small, with the tools needed to combat these destructive threats.”
Intellectual Property Subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY): “The value of trade secrets to U.S. companies is matched only by their tremendous vulnerability to theft. 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.”
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH): “Trade secrets are extremely valuable and important to many American businesses, and, because they derive their value through their secrecy, trade secrets need strong protections to prevent their theft and disclosure,” said Chabot. “Unfortunately, current law consists of a patchwork of federal and state provisions that are too often inadequate to prevent misappropriation of trade secrets, particularly in our ever-evolving digital world. Our legislation will give American companies new tools to protect their trade secrets as well as seek damages when misappropriation occurs.”
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY): “American companies lose billions of dollars a year due to trade theft. The FBI has worked diligently to address the threat presented to our economy, but additional tools are needed. The option of a federal civil cause of action is another arrow in the quiver to strike at the heart of trade secret theft. I am pleased to join with my Judiciary Committee colleagues today in co-sponsoring the Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014.”