Hatch-Coons Trade Secrets Bill Passes House, Heads to President’s Desk

U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, applaud the passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act in the House of Representatives.

The Senate bill, introduced by Senators Hatch and Coons, passed unanimously on April 4. The President has expressed support for the legislation and is expected to sign the bill into law soon. 

“I’m pleased the House has followed the Senate’s lead and passed the Hatch-Coons Defend Trade Secrets Act,” said Senator Hatch. 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.”

“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,” said Senator Coons. “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.”


Senator Hatch spoke about what the Defend Trade Secrets Act would mean for Utah in a video earlier this month.

Statements of Support for the Defend Trade Secrets Act

The Intellectual Property Owners Association– [LINK]


This legislation was developed in the spirit of collaboration and consensus-building. We applaud its authors, Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Chris Coons, D-Del., and Reps. Doug Collins, R-Ga., and Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., for taking time to consider and address various industries’ concerns, and we thank the bill’s co-sponsors for their strong leadership, particularly in the current climate of political divisiveness.


The DTSA represents a valuable tool to remedy trade secret theft. The current legal tools available are inefficient and inconsistent with all other areas of intellectual property law, where federal civil remedies exist. Current federal law in this area, covered by the Economic Espionage Act, is limited. Though the FBI and Department of Justice can use this law, they have limited resources and numerous priorities and are not able to pursue all trade secret thefts. Likewise, state trade secret laws are not well-suited to respond to the movement of trade secrets across state and international borders or to act swiftly to preserve evidence and protect trade secrets from being further divulged.


National Association of Manufacturers– [LINK]


Trade secrets are vital to the competitiveness of companies throughout our economy, and the threat to these innovations is becoming more serious and more complex. By creating a strong, uniform body of trade secrets law nationwide, the DTSA ensures that our laws keep pace. 


Congress should move quickly to pass this important legislation because strong trade secrets protection is critical to the American economy and to manufacturers’ competitive advantage in the global economy. The DTSA encourages investment in cutting-edge research and development and will have an immediate, positive impact on our innovative sector, ultimately creating jobs and opportunity in manufacturing in the United States.


U.S. Chamber of Commerce–[LINK]


American innovation has brought consumers across the globe many of the cutting edge products and technologies that have, quite literally, changed the world. From life-saving medicines to computer software to incredibly efficient ways to generate energy, American companies are at the forefront of the “innovation economy” and the creators of millions of domestic jobs.


In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, it is critical that the right tools are in place to ensure that American ideas and jobs are not stolen and sold overseas. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce urges Congress to move this much needed legislation quickly so that it may become law and our industry and workers can remain at the forefront of the innovation economy.


Microsoft and Eli Lilly–[LINK]


Our state-by-state system for trade secret protection was simply not built with the digital world in mind where one device containing purloined information can literally destroy a hard-earned competitive edge. In today’s global economy, however, trade secrets are increasingly stored and used across state line and even national borders.  A uniform, national standard for protection will greatly benefit innovative enterprises of all sizes.


We commend Senators Orrin Hatch and Christopher Coons and Representatives Doug Collins and Jerrold Nadler for introducing the bipartisan Defend Trade Secrets Act. This thoughtful and carefully considered legislation will adapt America’s trade secret regime to reflect 21st Century realities and will strengthen this critical form of intellectual property.  We urge favorable and expeditious consideration by both the Senate and House.


IM Flash in Lehi, Utah–[LINK]


In a world driven by innovation, American businesses large and small are setting the global standard for creativity and innovation. But the next generation of cutting-edge materials, semiconductors, devices, software applications and high-tech services does not come cheap. America’s most innovative companies thrive because they invest in research and development.


We are grateful that the bill’s lead proponent is Utah’s Sen. Orrin Hatch, whose consensus-driven approach has produced legislation that will benefit innovators in all industries, unifying groups that have often been at odds on other intellectual property issues. The bill enjoys broad, bipartisan support with 65 Senate sponsors and is scheduled for a vote in the Senate after its Easter break.


There is nearly universal agreement on the need for a federal remedy for trade secret theft, and Micron is proud to support legislation that reflects a rare consensus among lawmakers. Strong trade secrets protection is essential for America’s global competitiveness because it promotes an environment conducive to cutting-edge research, development, and collaboration. Enacting the bill will have an immediate, positive impact on innovative companies that create jobs in this country. We strongly support the bipartisan efforts of Hatch, and we urge Congress to move quickly to pass this important legislation.


Salt Lake Chamber and the Utah Technology Council–[LINK]


Trade secrets are the lifeblood of Utah’s innovation economy. The state’s businesses and manufacturers rely on trade secrets to protect their technologies, attract new investors, and maintain a competitive edge. But a glaring oversight in intellectual property law puts Utah jobs at risk.  Even though trade secrets safeguard trillions of dollars in U.S. assets, companies have few legal options to protect their trade secrets in federal court if they are stolen — leaving this confidential information vulnerable to theft.


Thankfully, no one understands the heavy costs of trade secret theft better than one Utah’s own Sen. Orrin Hatch. As chairman of the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force, Hatch has established himself as a leading voice for pro-growth, pro-business policies. Now, as he works to implement his Innovation Agenda for the 114th Congress, Hatch is spearheading efforts in Congress to provide greater federal protections to companies threatened by trade secret misappropriation.


 Part and parcel to this effort is the Defend Trade Secrets Act — a bipartisan bill Hatch co-authored with Senator Chris Coons, D-Del. With 65 co-sponsors from both parties, the bill is expected to pass with overwhelming support.


 This legislation empowers American businesses by creating a private right of action that allows companies to protect their trade secrets in federal court. It also equips business owners with the tools they need to combat trade secret theft, including the ability to seek injunctions and to retrieve stolen assets before they are lost for good.