The Need

In a growing global economy businesses have growing security concerns over the protection of their property and trade secrets. Fair competition is essential for the protection of businesses and their employees, and the health of both the local and national economies. With normal business conducted on both intra-national and international levels state laws securing trade secrets and property simply do not have the jurisdictional authority needed to protect businesses in today’s global economy. Existing federal law securing business property and trade secrets include the federal Economic Espionage Act and the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. While important to the foundation of trade secret security these federal criminal laws cannot be effectively enforced. These federal criminal laws also do not effectively complement state law on a national level.

The Benefits of a Federal Civil Remedy

The Defense Trade Secrets Act sponsored by Senator Hatch, is a federal civil remedy that builds upon preexisting laws and was specifically drafted to complement state trade secret laws on a national level without overriding them. The new federal law will only provide jurisdiction over cases that clearly involve interstate and/or international situations. The benefits to business with a federal civil remedy include: the authorization of injunctions and damages, consistency in the legal approach already used for protecting other forms of intellectual property and companies will better be able to establish practices to protect their property while the laws are more efficiently enforced through litigation. When property is stolen from a business the act of recapturing said property is also authorized in the Defense Trade Secrets Act. The new law relies on existing federal law, which allows for the seizure of property that is in direct possession of a thief who does not comply with a court order.

What does this mean for business?

Business can trust that trade secrets are even greater protected while conducting business at the state, national, and international levels with implementation of the Defense Trade Secrets Act. Businesses will be happy to know that trade secret laws will be more efficiently enforced through litigation with the federal civil remedy this act provides. The business community applauds the leadership of Senator Hatch in sponsoring this important piece of legislation and for his constant advocacy of Utah’s business interests.