The stealing of trade secrets is such a big problem that the government has been going around in circles trying to fix the issue. With concerns made clear from the Obama Administration and attempts to use international diplomacy to stop trade secret hacks, Congress seems to finally be stepping up to provide more federal IP protection.
While not passed yet as of this writing, a new proposed bill called the Defend Trade Secrets Act has the best chance of any trade secret theft bill attempted before. You can thank Senators Chris Coons and Orrin Hatch for creating this bill through a bipartisan effort. Unlike other problems, trade secret theft is not a Democrat, Republican, or Tea Party issue. It's one that every politician is concerned about and rightly so, considering the alarming statistics. Some sources say trade secret theft is hurting our economy to the tune of $250 billion a year. What will be the real benefit of this bill if passed?
Eliminating the need to use state laws to fight theft
Currently, if you have a trade secret that is stolen, you have to go strictly through the state judiciary to get legal protection. In some cases, you might have to cross state lines and deal with separate laws if someone steals your trade secrets halfway across the country. This can get very protracted and complicated without the aid of an expensive lawyer.
If the proposed bill passes, businesses will finally get federal protection when a company has commercial losses as a result of any trade theft. Federal protection will help combat stifling losses while also promoting the importance of trademark agreements on a national and international basis.
Here at Traklight, we support Congress creating bills like this that promote protection of intellectual property. Let's hope the Defend Trade Secrets Act passes so America can finally find realistic solutions to trade secret theft in our own backyard, if not internationally. In the meantime, you will need to protect your other intellectual property, and we can help identify it while guiding you on what steps to take to protect it. Be sure to follow our Intellectual Property Best Practices series every Monday for more information on how to maximize your IP.
You can use our IP Vault as an alternate method to keep your trade secrets truly secret. And if you have any other trade secret questions, be sure to register for our June 24th webinar next week with Nicole Druckrey of Quarles & Brady LLC as she talks about "Trade Secrets! You Have Them. Here Is How to Protect Them." Email your questions ahead of time to firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure your questions are answered during the webinar.
Think trade secrets may constitute your business practices? Find out by using ID your IP.