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senate Bill S. 1890

If a Trade Secret is Stolen, Should the Owner be Able to Sue in Federal Court?

Argument in favor

Owners of trade secrets that were misappropriated should be able to sue in federal district courts to recover damages, given that trade secret theft is often an issue that crosses state and national borders.

Brandon's Opinion
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04/04/2016
Intellectual property theft, being able to cross state and national boundaries, falls under the commerce clause of article 1 of the constitution and therefore should be tried in federal courts.
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David's Opinion
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04/28/2016
Yes, it should be illegal to steal anything, including trade secrets, and if such a theft involves interstate commerce, the correct jurisdiction for pursuit of civil damages would be federal court. Why is this not already the case?
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Chutt's Opinion
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04/05/2016
I believe that any legal issue that crosses state lines should be adjudicated in a federal court
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Argument opposed

Federal courts don’t need to deal with lawsuits related to trade secret theft. There shouldn’t be immunity for people who confidentially report suspected misappropriation to law enforcement or attorneys.

Rudy's Opinion
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04/04/2016
I feel like this will only give more power to big corporations over small business. We need to reform patent laws before we decide how to enforce them. As of now, patent laws only favor large corporations and doesn't motivate innovation. This causes larger market control by one company and extends its lifespan.
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Dylan's Opinion
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04/04/2016
I would like to see more manufacturing done here in the U.S. This could potentially stimulate our economy by bringing more jobs to America if stolen secrets are a common problem.
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Connor's Opinion
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04/04/2016
Honestly, this happens more often then people think. They should be able to sue, but I don't know if the federal courts should be the ones bothered with these cases.
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bill Progress


  • EnactedMay 11th, 2016
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The house Passed April 27th, 2016
    Roll Call Vote 410 Yea / 2 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet
  • The senate Passed April 4th, 2016
    Roll Call Vote 87 Yea / 0 Nay
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJuly 29th, 2015

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Bill Activity

  • action
    Introduced in Senate
  • referral
    Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
  • hearings
    Committee on the Judiciary. Hearings held.
  • calendar
    Committee on the Judiciary. Ordered to be reported with an amendment in the nature of a substitute favorably.
  • reported
    Committee on the Judiciary. Reported by Senator Grassley with an amendment in the nature of a substitute. Without written report.
  • calendar
    Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 355.
  • action
    By Senator Grassley from Committee on the Judiciary filed written report. Report No. 114-220.
  • action
    Measure laid before Senate by unanimous consent.
  • action
    The committee substitute agreed to by Unanimous Consent.
  • vote
    Passed Senate with an amendment by Yea-Nay Vote. 87 - 0. Record Vote Number: 39.
  • action
    Message on Senate action sent to the House.
  • action
    Received in the House.
  • referral
    Referred to the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet.
  • referral
    Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
  • action
    Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Discharged.
  • action
    Committee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.
  • calendar
    Ordered to be Reported by Voice Vote.
  • action
    Reported by the Committee on Judiciary. H. Rept. 114-529.
  • calendar
    Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 409.
  • action
    Mr. Goodlatte moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill.
  • action
    Considered under suspension of the rules.
  • action
    DEBATE - The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on S. 1890.
  • action
    At the conclusion of debate, the Yeas and Nays were demanded and ordered. Pursuant to the provisions of clause 8, rule XX, the Chair announced that further proceedings on the motion would be postponed.
  • action
    Considered as unfinished business.
  • vote
    On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 410 - 2 (Roll no. 172).
  • action
    Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
  • topresident
    Presented to President.
  • signed
    Signed by President.
  • enacted
    Became Public Law No: 114-153.

bill Progress


  • EnactedMay 11th, 2016
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The house Passed April 27th, 2016
    Roll Call Vote 410 Yea / 2 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet
  • The senate Passed April 4th, 2016
    Roll Call Vote 87 Yea / 0 Nay
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJuly 29th, 2015

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    Intellectual property theft, being able to cross state and national boundaries, falls under the commerce clause of article 1 of the constitution and therefore should be tried in federal courts.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    I feel like this will only give more power to big corporations over small business. We need to reform patent laws before we decide how to enforce them. As of now, patent laws only favor large corporations and doesn't motivate innovation. This causes larger market control by one company and extends its lifespan.
    Like (30)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, it should be illegal to steal anything, including trade secrets, and if such a theft involves interstate commerce, the correct jurisdiction for pursuit of civil damages would be federal court. Why is this not already the case?
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    I would like to see more manufacturing done here in the U.S. This could potentially stimulate our economy by bringing more jobs to America if stolen secrets are a common problem.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Honestly, this happens more often then people think. They should be able to sue, but I don't know if the federal courts should be the ones bothered with these cases.
    Like (2)
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    It's their right to ownership
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    Making it easier for lawsuits doesn't help. I think it would just encourage corporations to sue smaller businesses that want to get into the market.
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    If I had a trade secret and someone stole it (China), then Yes, I would sue.
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    Stealing of private information breaks all morals.
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    It's already a crime. Why are we asking ourselves this question?
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    Trade theft, is theft. If a case needs to go to the federal level it should be allowed to just like any other case would.
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    If they own them they should be able to recover them.
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    Go to nights and patent creeps are killing innovation and advancements. There are no guarantees this bill won't be used to choke of competition in many industries.
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    I just think it's s crime
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    This was a really hard decision for me. Ultimately it came down to one question: "is an idea property?" And I feel that, as a writer, I do feel that my ideas belong to me. I would absolutely hate it if someone took one of my ideas and got rich off of it. On the other hand, taking, modifying and improving ideas is how we evolve as a culture. Just look at Disney, I know they're not the best example but they were the first one that came to mind. Patent laws should be reformed, no question about it, but we also need to recognize the inherent value of ideas and what they mean to their creators.
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    People who really value capitalism value lack of government interference. People who don't care about the values of capitalism wouldn't care about wasting government resources like this is what is a move on American protectionism. It is not the US Federal Government's responsibility to protect private corporations' trade secrets
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    Yes, BUT they should start in the local and state courts first. If those have been exhausted and they still don't get what they're after, then yes, they should be able to sue in federal court.
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    A
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    Yea
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    If it's their idea, They own the rights to it!
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