Revisiting Trade Secret Extraterritoriality

21 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2019

See all articles by Elizabeth A. Rowe

Elizabeth A. Rowe

University of Virginia School of Law

Giulia Farrior

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: january 5, 2019


This Article analyzes the extraterritorial provision in the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) and considers the arguments on both sides of the question as to whether Congress expressed an affirmative indication that section 1837 of the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) would apply to the DTSA. We tackle the confusion surrounding the DTSA’s extraterritorial reach and suggest the use of a “domestic effect test,” which could be implemented via either amending the statute to provide greater clarity on its extraterritorial intention, or, absent an amendment, as a means of guiding courts in interpreting the statute’s extraterritorial reach in civil cases. This proposal is consistent with how courts and Congress have approached other areas of law that have faced similar questions on a statute’s extraterritorial reach.

Keywords: trade secrets, dtsa, defend trade secrets act, extraterritorial, foreign, economic espionage act, EEA, domestic effect, congressional intent, amending statute

JEL Classification: k1, k2

Suggested Citation

Rowe, Elizabeth A. and Farrior, Giulia, Revisiting Trade Secret Extraterritoriality (january 5, 2019). Boston University journal of Science and Technology Law, Vol. 25, 2019, Available at SSRN:

Elizabeth A. Rowe (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States


Giulia Farrior

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics