New Professors' Letter Opposing The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015

As CIS readers may recall, I've been very concerned about the problems associated with the proposed Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA). Ostensibly designed to combat cyberespionage against United States' corporations, it is instead not a solution to that problem, and fraught with downsides. Today, over 40 colleagues in the academic world joined Eric Goldman, Chris Seaman, Sharon Sandeen and I in a new letter raising a variety of concerns about the DTSA (CIS affiliates Megan Gray and Patrick Lin are also signatories).

Importantly, this new letter incorporates our 2014 opposition letter. As we explained,

"While we agree that effective legal protection for U.S. businesses’ legitimate trade secrets is important to American innovation, we believe that the DTSA—which would represent the most significant expansion of federal law in intellectual property since the Lanham Act in 1946—will not solve the problems identified by its sponsors. Instead of addressing cyberespionage head-on, passage of the DTSA is likely to create new problems that could adversely impact domestic innovation, increase the duration and cost of trade secret litigation, and ultimately negatively affect economic growth. Therefore, the undersigned call on Congress to reject the DTSA."

We also call on Congress to hold hearings "that focus on the costs of the legislation and whether the DTSA addresses the cyberespionage problem that it is allegedly designed to combat. Specifically, Congress should evaluate the DTSA through the lens of employees, small businesses, and startup companies that are most likely to be adversely affected by the legislation."

I will continue to blog on the DTSA as events warrant, and encourage CIS readers to contact their members of Congress and urge them to vote against the DTSA.

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