BREAKING: House passes Defend Trade Secrets Act, next stop President Obama

Mr Night Owl's expression doesn't change if he is
happy or sad.  For those unfamiliar, the AmeriKat can confirm
that this is his "excited face" in response
to the House's passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act.  
This evening, the olive green London sky, punctuated by flashes of lightening and rumbles of thunder, completely distracted the AmeriKat from some big news from D.C.  Only after a fellow night owl jostled her did the AmeriKat snap upright to alert readers that, as predicted, the House of Representatives has just passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act in an incredible 410-2 vote.   Congressman Justin Amash (Republican- Michigan) and Congressman Thomas Massie (Republican-Kentucky) voted against the DTSA (see here).

The US Senate only just unanimously passed S.1890 (see AmeriKat report here) three weeks ago.  Following the Senate vote, the Obama administration called the DTSA "important protection" for American business and industries.  Why is the DTSA so important?  It provides trade secrets owners with the possibility of filing civil claims for trade secrets misappropriation within the federal court system (necessary given the ease and speed with which misappropriated trade secrets can cross state borders).  The DTSA also provides for a seizure order to prevent the destruction or dissemination of misappropriated trade secrets.  See the recent post by trade secrets expert, James Pooley.   

Senator Hatch (Republican-Utah) who introduced the DTSA with Senator Coons, stated:  
"I’m pleased the House has followed the Senate’s lead and passed the Hatch-Coons Defend Trade Secrets Act. Enacting this bill into law will help address the critical problem of trade secret theft, which stifles innovation and costs American companies billions of dollars annually. I hope our success in acting to protect trade secrets will serve as a springboard for additional Congressional action to safeguard other forms of intellectual property." 
 Senator Coons (Democrat-Delaware) continued:
"Today’s passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act in the House means that this bill can soon become law and finally provide the critical federal legal protection for trade secrets that U.S. companies deserve in Delaware and across the country. I’m thrilled that Democrats and Republicans came together in the Senate and now the House to pass this bill, demonstrating the truly bipartisan nature of this legislation and its broad coalition of support from American businesses. I look forward to seeing President sign this bill into law soon."
In what will surely be remembered as "The Year of Trade Secrets", the DTSA follows on the heels of the European Parliament's passage of the EU Trade Secrets Directive two weeks ago (see guest post by Mark Ridgway (A&O) here). The consolidated version of the agreed text of the Directive was published last night in the Council Register and can be found here.  

Both pieces of legislation were not without their critics.  Some declared that the DTSA's ex parte seizure orders were akin to 1990s style Anton Piller orders in the UK (they are not, as explained here).  In Europe, media reporting timed during the Panama Papers fallout exclaimed that the EU Trade Secrets Directive would chill whistleblower protections (although the Directive provides for safeguards and public policy exceptions for such disclosures are present in many Member States's trade secrets and confidential information laws).  

The DTSA will now head to President Obama's desk for signing into law.  

For more information on the House vote see Reuters.
Watch Senator Hatch's comments on the DTSA head of the House Passage here.  
For more information on the DTSA see previous IPKat articles here and the recent Fordham IP panel session here.  
To listen to what the AmeriKat will now be falling asleep to, click here.  
BREAKING: House passes Defend Trade Secrets Act, next stop President Obama BREAKING:  House passes Defend Trade Secrets Act, next stop President Obama Reviewed by Annsley Merelle Ward on Thursday, April 28, 2016 Rating: 5

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