Theft of trade secrets subject of new congressional bill

Glenn W. Peterson

While it is up to a company to make reasonable efforts to keep their trade secrets confidential in order to avoid a breach, computer hackers and other people who leak information in California, throughout the country and even in other nations should be held accountable for committing a crime. When people obtain and share a company’s or organization’s trade secrets, it can cause substantial damage, not only to the company itself, but also to the public citizens who are affected by the information leak.

In an attempt to make prosecuting trade secret thieves a more efficient and economical manner, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch proposed a bill that if passed, would streamline the process. The senator hopes that the bill, the Defend Trade Secrets Act, would enhance trade secret protections for companies and organizations across the country. If passed, it will give companies the power to use federal courts which can help them recover their stolen property much more quickly.

Currently, when a trade secret is stolen from a company, that company has limited options when it comes to prosecuting those at fault. Rather than take the case straight to the federal courts, the company must go through the state. In some cases, this can become problematic, as some state departments are not set up to handle a large number of these types of cases.

People should have a right to protect their trade secrets against dangerous cyber attackers, hackers and other people who wish to cause mischief. Those who have been victimized by these types of people may want to speak to an attorney in California regarding their legal options and trade secret protection rights. A lawyer may be helpful in answering questions and possibly building a case around the unique details of each situation.

Source: The Hill, “Hatch: Congress will act quickly on bill to fight trade secret theft,” Cory Bennett, Nov. 6, 2015.