An estimated 1-3 percent of U.S. GDP is lost every year due to stolen intellectual property. Congress is considering legislation to address the issue by protecting trade secrets under federal law. Kerry Bundy, Marty Chester and Randy Kahnke, business litigation partners at Faegre Baker Daniels, authored an article appearing the Minneapolis Star Tribune explaining their view that federal trade secret protection is overdue.
The authors explained that trade secrets comprise information such as financial data, business plans or product formulas that is kept confidential and gives companies a competitive advantage. Trade secrets can be as valuable to a business as copyrights, patents and trademarks, yet they are the only category of intellectual property without federal protection.
This year, a bill containing federal trade secret protections is awaiting action by the U.S. House. The bill has bipartisan support, and the authors said it has a better chance of passing than past proposals. "The bipartisan legislation that both branches of Congress considered presents an opportunity for federal law to help companies protect their trade secrets faster, easier, and with less expense," the article said.