19:47 GMT +319 January 2020
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    The damage inflicted on the US economy by Chinese corporate espionage has highlighted the importance of new legislation designed to protect trade secrets, US Defense Trade Advisory Group member Lawrence Ward told Sputnik on Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — President Barack Obama signed into law earlier this week the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which allows private companies to file federal lawsuits for economic espionage.

    "Recent high profile trade secret cases involving China and other Asian countries have certainly put a spotlight on trade secret litigation," Ward said. "The reality is that theft of trade secrets by foreign competitors has hurt the US economy."

    The DTSA, he noted, represents a monumental step because it allows for federal civil remedy for trade secrets misappropriation whereas in the past trade secrets were subject to state regulations.

    "In the past, on the federal level, there were only criminal penalties available and the US Government resources to bring these actions are limited," Ward explained.

    The new legislation will also allow law enforcement to seize property related to trade secret investigations and requires a hearing on the seized evidence within seven days, Ward added.

    DTSA, Ward suggested, was enacted to ensure greater uniformity in trade secret litigation because states interpreted the Uniform Trade Secret Act (UTSA) differently, which led to disparate results for litigants across the country.

    US commercial and government leaders have estimated that economic espionage could cost US businesses hundreds of billions of dollars each year.


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    economic espionage, Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), Lawrence Ward, China, United States
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