Defend Trade Secrets Act Passed U.S. Congress - Global Trade Magazine
  May 5th, 2016 | Written by

Defend Trade Secrets Act Passed U.S. Congress

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  • DTSA provides that a trade secret owner the right to sue on federal court if a trade secret is misappropriated.
  • DTSA will help curb intellectual property theft by creating a harmonized federal standard.
  • NAM CEO Jay Timmons: When competitors steal knowledge, it undercuts our ability to succeed in the global economy.

The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) was passed by the United States House of Representatives by a 410-2 margin on April 27.

The Senate passed the measure on an 87-0 vote earlier this month, meaning the DTSA is headed to the White House for President Obama’s signature. The president has expressed support for the measure so it is certain to become law.

The law is drafted so as to go into effect immediately, and will apply to the misappropriation of trade secrets that occurs on or after the date of the president’s signature.

The DTSA provides that a trade secret owner the right to sue on federal court if a trade secret is misappropriated.

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons said the bill will help curb intellectual property theft by creating a harmonized federal standard to protect the products manufacturers make and how they make them.

“Creativity and innovation are the heart and soul of the products made in this country, and when competitors steal that knowledge, it undercuts our ability to succeed in the global economy,” Timmons said. “In passing the Defend Trade Secrets Act, lawmakers across the political spectrum have demonstrated unified leadership to protect the knowledge that many manufacturers in the United States consider to be among their most valued assets. This is a victory for manufacturers in America.”

The Partnership for American Innovation—a group of companies that includes Apple, DuPont, Ford, GE, IBM, Microsoft, and Pfizer—also applauded DTSA’s passage. “The DTSA provides strong federal protection for trade secrets that will help to safeguard thousands of American jobs and curb theft that costs the U.S up to three percent of its GDP annually,” said David Kappos, a senior advisor to the organization. “We’re proud to support the DTSA and look forward to the president signing this important bill into law.”