Friday, December 11, 2015

A misguided attempt to “defend trade secrets”; Washington Post, 12/2/15

David Post, Washington Post; A misguided attempt to “defend trade secrets” :
"Along with 41 colleagues, I recently joined a letter submitted to the Committee opposing DTSA in which we tried to point out some of the ways in which putting this weapon in the hands of trade secret owners is likely to backfire, becoming a “strategic weapon” that will be used mostly for anti-competitive purposes that have nothing to do with preventing “cyber-espionage.” [A more detailed critique of the ex parte seizure provisions can be found in this article by Eric Goldman, one of the authors of the law professors’ letter]
It is often difficult, when considering intellectual property law, to see the downside of proposals meant to strengthen legal protection (while relatively easy to see the upside). Trade secret law has profound effects on employee mobility; the vast majority of trade secret litigation in this country involves employees moving from one company to another (and allegedly taking their former employer’s trade secrets with them). The DTSA will have little or no effect on Chinese government agents, but it is likely to have a deeper and much more lasting effect on the health of the labor market in this country, and not for the better."

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