back to article Microsoft, US senators want to grease wheels of trade secret theft cases

US Senators are mulling a bill that aims to change the way companies file claims of trade secrets theft. Creatively dubbed "The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015," S. 1890 would create legal procedures for businesses to file civil claims of trade secret theft at the federal level, just as they would for copyright or patent …

  1. a_yank_lurker

    What's left for Slurp

    Sounds like Slurp is trying become a patent troll without patents to troll. Wnbloat 10 must be doing much worse than anyone thought.

    1. hplasm
      Paris Hilton

      Re: What's left for Slurp

      They can't give it away- why would anyone want to steal it?

  2. Richard Taylor 2

    As an interested outsider and occasional resident, one of the quaint features of the US has been the variation in laws across states (extradition between states, state Bar associations) and even counties. Another step in the march towards total federal control?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A bit like the EU, then? Or at a more local level even some individual member states such as the UK or Germany?

    2. Robert Helpmann??

      Interstate Commerce

      Another step in the march towards total federal control?

      It caught my attention that the bill's sponsor is Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Any time a prominent member of a political party proposes legislation that runs counter to that party's stated platform (the Republican party currently claims the role of defender of States' rights), something is going on behind the scenes. Congress would be well within its rights to pass this legislation as it would easily fall under the rubric of interstate commerce, but a little digging reveals that it is mostly an attempt at protecting American businesses from foreign companies.

      In debate on the bill, Senator Jeff Flake said it’s also necessary that Congress address the fact that trade secret theft extends to foreign entities misappropriating U.S. trade secrets. Likewise, Senator Tillis said, “...the Defend Trade Secrets Act will help provide them with the legal protections they need to continue to do what they do best: produce life-changing innovation and create good-paying jobs.” Even more importantly, the proposed legislation carries a provision for ex parte seizure (S. 1890 2.b.2.A.i), enabling a company to ask the government to seize a suspected thief's property without notice. While the intent would be to allow companies to prevent their properties from being used without authorization, it is certain to be misused.

      So this is not about federal law Trumping* state law. This is instead about protectionism in the face of a new trade treaty and providing more power to American corporate interests. The first of these explains Democratic party support and the second is what the Republican party goes in for, explaining the bipartisan support for the measure.

      1. The Donald would probably endorse use of these powers given his love of imminent domain.

      1. Robert Helpmann??
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Interstate Commerce

        That would have been "eminent domain" had I been more awake when I posted.

      2. Pivnic

        Re: Interstate Commerce

        If they just changed the freakin admin password to begin with, this would be much less of an issue...but I guess that "they just sell hammers here," and now we have this. How long do you suppose before the intent for the bill is forgotten and it's used to attack citizens?

  3. Eddy Ito

    Our state-by-state system for trade secret protection was simply not built with the digital world in mind.

    Given the our legal basis for just about everything was laid hundreds of years ago I think that quote would make a fitting title to his thesis for a PhD in Duh.

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