The Defend Trade Secrets Act And Other Ways You Can Protect Your Business

Posted on: 15 April 2016

If you're a business owner, you know all too well about the dangers of stolen trade secrets or intellectual property. Losing these items could cost you millions of dollars and even bankrupt your business. Thankfully, a new bill could help transform the political landscape and help you avoid these dangers.

The Basics Of The Bill

The bill, which passed by a unanimous Senate vote, is called the "Defend Trade Secret Act." President Obama has pledged to sign the bill as a way to help protect companies from the theft of trade secrets by other companies. Most often, these companies were identified as originating from China, India, and Russia.

Should it pass, the bill will protect domestic trade secrets and identify theft and create a partnership that would police these actions and create criminal procedures that would penalize companies for stealing trade secrets. These thefts focus heavily on identify theft, particularly stealing the IP address of a computer.

What The Bill Promises

In an open letter to the president, the House Judiciary Committee (who sponsored the bill), defined the ways that the bill will help protect businesses in America and around the world. They stated that it would:

  • Help decrease the FBIs caseload of intellectual theft and trade secret thefts (which jumped 60% in four years)
  • Slow the nearly $300 billion annual loss caused by trade secrets
  • Increase the effectiveness of prosecuting these cases
  • Boost victim's rights in these cases
  • Protect whistleblowers (aka people who identify trade secret thefts)
  • Create more innovative protection measures

This bill, which the Judiciary Committee claims has widespread political support across various factions, looks to help protect business owners like you from losing hard earned money.

Ways You Can Protect Yourself Now

While this bill (which is expected to pass the House) will do a lot to protect you from trade secret and intellectual property theft, you also need to be more proactive by taking a few simple steps towards protecting your identity. For example, you could install security firewalls that limit Internet access and keep unwanted people from signing on.

That basic step is done by just about every business, so you should also try more advanced ideas, like wiping all laptops clean, regularly changing your passwords, carefully track your Internet traffic, avoid using unprotected wireless sources, and take special care to watch departing employees to ensure they aren't giving away trade secrets.

With the government stepping in to pass stricter laws and with a few simple protective steps, you can avoid losing money to trade secret and intellectual property theft. However, if you do find yourself a victim of this crime, make sure to call an attorney right away. Contact a law firm, such as the Joseph E Mueth Law Office, for more information.