Legislation for the nation's first federal civil trade secret protection statute has come closer to enactment into law, with the House Judiciary Committee's approval of the bill on April 20, 2016.
The Senate recently unanimously passed its version of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 ("DTSA") (S. 1890) by a vote of 87–0 on April 4, 2016. See our prior Alert, "Senate Passes the Defend Trade Secrets Act." On April 20, 2016, the House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee approved by voice vote the Senate's measure (S. 1890) without any amendment. The Committee's approval clears the path for the full House of Representatives to consider the bill. Rather than amend its own companion bill (H.R. 3326), the House Committee eliminated the potential need to reconcile the bills by adopting the Senate's version.
All that remains for the DTSA to be enacted into law is passage by the House of Representatives followed by President Obama's signature. It is anticipated that the full House of Representatives could vote on the bill as soon as next week. The White House has clearly signaled its support for the new trade secret law. The DTSA has garnered bipartisan support based on the widely held belief that the law will aid American businesses in protecting their trade secrets in the global marketplace.
For reference, Jones Day's November 2015 White Paper provided a detailed analysis on the DTSA, "Are Federally Protected Trade Secrets on the Horizon? Key Things to Know about the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015." Also see our January 2016 Alert, "Senate Judiciary Committee Approves the Defend Trade Secrets Act," for a discussion of the bill as approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate with various amendments.