Federal Trade Secrets Act

Do you have a trade secret?

  • Do you know something your competition does not?
  • Does it give you an advantage?
  • Do you try to keep it secret?

If so, congratulations. You have a trade secret. (Perhaps you should check with the firm about a flat-rate intellectual property audit). How is it protected, you ask? Well, that depends.

Current trade secrets law consists of a patchwork of state laws and common law cases with different outlooks in different states. In short, there is no one place to look to. Dissimilarly, patents, trademarks, and copyrights all have federal statutes instructing courts and educating our clients. Despite Washington gridlock, and several failed attempts, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Defend Trade Secrets Act. (Senate Bill 1890). For more info, you can review this Senate document.

If enacted, the Act will provide a federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation. This would be similar to the federal actions for trademark, copyright, and patent infringement. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration. Given past failures, Shay Phillips, Ltd. is not extremely optimistic about its chances. However, we are hopeful for some clarity for our clients.

Shay Phillips, Ltd. is one of the few downstate Illinois law firms that focuses its practice on intellectual property. If you have any intellectual property issues, you can call us for a consultation. Moreover, even if you do not, you can call us for an intellectual property audit. We will do our best to determine what forms of Intellectual Property you may have and give you a roadmap on how to build and IP Portfolio and adequately protect it.