Protecting American Trade Secrets and Innovation Act of 2012 (PATSIA)

On July 17, 2012, U.S. Senators Herb Kohl (WI), Chris Coons (DE), and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) introduced “Protecting American Trade Secrets and Innovation Act of 2012” (“PATSIA”).

The proposed legislation aims at "provid[ing companies with] federal jurisdiction for theft of trades secrets," as opposed to relying upon each states individual laws. However, PATSIA requires a comparatively higher pleading standard than the Uniform Trade Secrets Act or Restatement: “(A) describe with specificity the reasonable measures taken to protect the secrecy of the alleged trade secrets in dispute; and (B) include a sworn representation by the party asserting the claim that the dispute involves either substantial need for nationwide service of process or misappropriation of trade secrets from the United States to another country.”

Additionally, PATSIA allows parties, on ex parte application, to seize property related to the misappropriated trade secrets (or evidence thereof) for up to 72 hours. It also provides remedies in the form of injunctive relief, monetary damages (including royalties), and/or any other "affirmative actions [necessary] to protect a trade secret."

The "Definitions" section is almost identical to the Uniform Trade Secret Act. Should the bill pass, it would end years of debate regarding the need for a single federal cause of action for misappropriation of trade secrets. According to Senator's Kohl's press release: "[PATSIA] will help American companies protect their valuable trade secrets by giving them the additional option of seeking redress in Federal courts when they are victims of economic espionage or trade secret theft. Stolen trade secrets cost American companies billions of dollars each year and threaten their ability to innovate and compete globally. This bill ensures that companies have the most effective and efficient ways to combat trade secret theft and recoup their losses, helping them to maintain their global competitive edge."