A Bibliography About Federal Trade Secret Law Reform (Guest Blog Post)

28 06 2015

Eric’s introduction: patent and copyright reform get a lot of attention, and they have overshadowed proposals to create a new federal trade secret civil cause of action that have been floating around in Congress for a few years. I’ve previously called the federal trade secret initiative “the most significant IP policy proposal you aren’t paying attention to.”

These proposals are favored by a small number of trade secret owners and ignored by virtually everyone else, even though a new federal trade secret law would be a dramatic change in US intellectual property law and have potentially radical implications for the Silicon Valley. Unless a coordinated opposition emerges, these proposals are destined to pass eventually. Fortunately, last year, Profs. David Levine (Elon) and Sharon Sandeen (Hamline) sent a letter to Congress on behalf of many law professors opposing the latest proposal. That letter–perhaps the first real opposition that Congress heard–successfully slowed the trade secret bill down a bit, just long enough to keep it from passing that session. The current Congressional session is preoccupied with patent reform and maybe copyright reform, so we haven’t heard much about a resurrected trade secret bill. Nevertheless, the bills will be coming back, and they will remain inevitable unless they face opposition.

Thus, I asked David Levine if he could prepare a bibliography of the literature opposing a federal trade secret law. My main goal was to get all of the opposition material into a single document, so that we could realize just how many smart people are opposed–and perhaps coordinate our efforts better. Many thanks to David for doing this.


by David S. Levine


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