Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. EST, the United States Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing concerning trade secret theft entitled “Protecting Trade Secrets: The Impact of Trade Secret Theft on American Competitiveness and Potential Solutions to Remedy This Harm.”
The hearing will feature some of the key supporters of the bill known as the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA). The DTSA currently has over 100 bipartisan Congressional supporters in the House and Senate, including chief sponsors Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), who believe the bill will help combat trade secret theft and will provide trade secret theft victims with effective legal recourse in federal court. As it stands, victims presently only have civil legal remedies for trade secret theft at the state level, which can pose challenges to victims to effectively pursue their claims and obtain just remedies. In this particular hearing, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the alleged Chinese cyber theft of U.S. corporate trade secrets and other assets.
Despite the support the bill has received, it has been met with some opposition from some academics. Recently, several professors have written Congress in opposition to the DTSA, arguing that the adoption of the bill would be nothing more than trouble. Some of the potential issues cited included chilling innovation in the U.S., increased legal fees associated with litigating trade secret actions, and overall negative economic growth.
Many in the business community and private legal practice, however, have voiced their support for the bill. Senator Hatch has indicated his desire to have the Defend Trade Secrets Act passed this year but whether Congress will act on that ambitious schedule remains to be seen.