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Many Hope Trade Secrets Legislation Moves in Lame-Duck Session; Critics, Skeptical of Bills’ Effectiveness, Ask: ‘Why Here, Why Now?’

November 14, 2014, Bloomberg BNA

Covington partner Kurt Calia is quoted regarding legislation to create a federal private right of action for misappropriation of trade secrets:

‘‘Trade secrets have the notorious distinction of being the only form of intellectual property with no federal remedy,’’ Kurt G. Calia of Covington & Burling LLP, Redwood Shores, Calif., told Bloomberg BNA. ‘‘That just seems like it is relegating trade secrets to a second class status, when in reality it is clear that there is a growing recognition that a substantial portion of the intellectual property held by American companies is tied up in trade secrets.’’

Calia supports both bills, thinks a federal remedy for theft of trade secrets is an absolute necessity and, given the broad support for the legislation, sees no reason that one of the bills could not pass and become law. ‘‘It is not a hard sell for people on both sides of the aisle to say: ‘Hey, we don’t want American companies being ripped off,’’ Calia said. ‘‘There is not a lot that Congress can agree on these days, but this seems like low hanging fruit,’’ he said.

Reproduced with permission from BNA's Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal, 89 PTCJ 115 (Nov. 11, 2014). Copyright 2014 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.

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