Professors' Letter in Opposition to the 'Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2014' (S. 2267) and the 'Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014' (H.R. 5233)

10 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2015  

David S. Levine

Elon University School of Law; Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University; Stanford University - Center for Internet and Society

Sharon K. Sandeen

Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Date Written: August 26, 2014

Abstract

The undersigned are 31 professors from throughout the United States who teach and write extensively about intellectual property law, trade secret law, innovation policy and/or information law. We urge Congress to reject the proposed legislation to create a new private cause of action under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (“EEA”), known as the “Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2014” (“DTSA”) and the “Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014” (“TSPA,” collectively, “the Acts”). As explained in Senator Coons’ press release announcing the introduction of the DTSA, "In today’s electronic age, trade secrets can be stolen with a few keystrokes, and increasingly, they are stolen at the direction of a foreign government or for the benefit of a foreign competitor. These losses put U.S. jobs at risk and threaten incentives for continued investment in research and development. Current federal criminal law is insufficient."

While we acknowledge the need to increase protection both domestically and internationally against domestic and foreign cyber-espionage, this is not the way to address those concerns. Instead, as explained below, the Acts will create or exacerbate many existing legal problems but solve none. Accordingly, we oppose their adoption.

Keywords: trade secrets, innovation, cyberespionage, cybersecurity, intellectual property

JEL Classification: K1

Suggested Citation

Levine, David S. and Sandeen, Sharon K., Professors' Letter in Opposition to the 'Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2014' (S. 2267) and the 'Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014' (H.R. 5233) (August 26, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2699735

David S. Levine (Contact Author)

Elon University School of Law ( email )

201 N. Greene Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
United States

HOME PAGE: http://hearsayculture.com

Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University ( email )

C231A E-Quad
Olden St.
Princeton, NJ 08540
United States

Stanford University - Center for Internet and Society

Palo Alto, CA 94305-8610
United States

HOME PAGE: http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blogs/levine/

Sharon K. Sandeen

Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )

875 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105-3076
United States

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