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U.S. Senate Passes Defend Trade Secrets Act

April 5, 2016, Covington Alert

On Monday, April 4, 2016, the U.S. Senate passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (the “DTSA,” S. 1890), as amended, by a unanimous vote of 87-0. S. 1890 was introduced by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Chris Coons (D-DE), and supported by 65 cosponsors. Companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 3326) has been introduced by Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and it is already supported by 128 bipartisan cosponsors.

The DTSA would amend the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (“EEA”) to create a federal civil claim and remedy for trade secret misappropriation. Currently, while owners of patents, copyrights, and trademarks can enforce their rights under federal law, trade secret owners must rely on an array of state laws to protect their rights when their know-how is stolen. The DTSA would modernize trade secret protection by creating a unified, consistent body of law nationwide, without displacing existing state laws.

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