The U.S. House of Representatives voted 410-2 yesterday in favor of the Defend Trade Secrets Act, which would allow companies to bring civil actions for trade secret theft under the federal Economic Espionage Act. The Senate version passed unanimously on April 11, 2016, and President Obama favors the legislation and is expected to sign it into law.
As the House and Senate votes indicate, the legislation had bipartisan support, as well as the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Microsoft Corp., and General Electric. The law would not preempt state trade secret laws but would provide new, additional, federal remedies.
We will have a comprehensive client bulletin on this legislation and its implications in the near future. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact any member of our Trade Secrets and Noncompetition Practice Group.