The NAM welcomed today’s introduction of the bipartisan Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014 and applauded the bill’s sponsors, Representatives George Holding (R-NC), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Howard Coble (R-NC), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Steve Chabot (R-OH) and John Conyers (D-MI) for their focus on this critical issue.
The Trade Secrets Protection Act is the House companion to legislation (S.2267) introduced in April by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT). It marks a critical step toward ensuring manufacturers can effectively and efficiently enforce their trade secrets at home and abroad.
Trade secrets include everything from the special recipe for a food or beverage to research, marketing data and customer lists. They are the proprietary manufacturing processes and marketing plans that set products apart from the competition.
These vital intangible assets have never been more important to manufacturers large and small. But they increasingly are at risk in today’s mobile and interconnected global economy.
Trade secrets can comprise as much as 80 percent of the value of a company’s knowledge portfolio. But according to one estimate, theft costs businesses in this country some $250 billion a year.
The Trade Secrets Protection Act would help to address this challenge by providing access to federal civil enforcement for trade secrets theft. Right now, businesses must go state-by-state to defend their rights.
At the same time, it would provide a critical foundation for essential trade secrets commitments in U.S. trade agreements, including those under negotiation with Europe and 11 Pacific Rim nations.
The NAM was pleased to testify before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet last month on the importance of strengthening trade secret protection and enforcement in ways that advance manufacturing in the United States.
We look forward to working with Congressmen Holding, Nadler, Chabot, Conyers, Coble and Jeffries, and with many others in the House and Senate to promote swift consideration and passage of the Trade Secrets Protection Act.
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