The intellectual property that drives the U.S. economy has never been more valuable, or more vulnerable with estimates of trade secrets theft accounting for losses of an estimated $160 billion to $480 billion each year in the United States.

A bill (Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2014 (DTSA) (S.2267)) was recently introduced on Capitol Hill that would create a federal trade secrets cause of action for civil litigants. Currently, claims for trade secret misappropriation are governed by state law, meaning that most trade secret disputes are litigated in state courts, with varying rules and court procedures. If this new Act passes, trade secret claims would be governed by a uniform federal law. This would allow companies to craft a single set of non-disclosure policies with the comfort of knowing that federal law will offer protection against misappropriation of trade secrets.

As discussions on Capitol Hill about cybersecurity and foreign espionage continue, Kelley Drye’s interdisciplinary Trade Secrets Group will continue to follow this bill and track the extent to which the DTSA would be preferable to the well-known Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA), which has been adopted by forty-seven states.

Kelley Drye’s national Trade Secrets Practice comprises attorneys from around the country to represent clients in the full scope of litigation matters that concern companies at risk of trade secret theft. The firm has decades of experience handling trade secret disputes for a diverse client base as well as providing guidance on trade secret protection to implement gatekeeper policies and protective measures. Please contact us if you have questions about any of the issues highlighted above or other legal concerns.