ASIS supports federal legislation that would curtail the theft of trade secrets and intellectual property by making long overdue updates to the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) of 1996. Trade secret theft costs U.S. businesses hundreds of billions of dollars each year. The EEA makes trade secret theft a crime, but the Department of Justice lacks the resources to prosecute many such cases. State courts are not well suited to working across state and national boundaries to facilitate discovery, serve defendants or witnesses, or to prevent a party from leaving the country. Federal legislation is needed to address these problems, and to empower companies to protect their intellectual property in federal court.
Legislation was introduced in July 2015 in both the House and Senate to address this issue. The Defend Trade Secrets Act, H.R. 3326 and S. 1890, respectively, would create a uniform standard for trade secret misappropriation and it would allow federal courts to grant injunctions and damages. Under the measure, state laws would continue to apply and state courts would continue to have jurisdiction over state law claims. The bill has been embraced by companies and associations.