Semiconductor Industry Commends Passage of Legislation to Protect Trade Secrets
Wednesday, Apr 27, 2016, 9:00pm
by Semiconductor Industry Association
BILL PROVIDES NEW LEGAL TOOLS TO PREVENT THEFT OF TRADE SECRETS
WASHINGTON—April 27, 2016—The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing, design, and research, today applauded congressional approval of The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015 (S.1890), bipartisan legislation that provides new legal tools to prevent the theft of trade secrets. The House of Representatives passed the bill with broad bipartisan support earlier today, the Senate unanimously approved it on April 4, and President Obama is expected to sign it into law in the coming days.
“Trade secrets are at the heart of innovation in the semiconductor industry and throughout our economy, enabling the spirit of invention that has made America the source of so many great products,” said John Neuffer, president and CEO, Semiconductor Industry Association. “U.S. semiconductor companies devote about one-fifth of sales revenue to R&D, often leading to the creation of trade secrets and other valuable intellectual property. The Defend Trade Secrets Act helps protect this intellectual property, strengthens the semiconductor industry, and promotes economic growth and innovation throughout the U.S. economy.”
Trade secrets in the semiconductor industry include manufacturing processes, source code, and company strategies. Under current law, there are limited legal remedies for misappropriation of trade secrets. The Defend Trade Secrets Act would empower U.S. companies to protect their trade secrets in federal court, which is particularly important in an era when trade secret theft is often conducted across state or even national borders. The bills would provide a consistent, harmonized legal framework and help avoid the commercial injury, diminished competitiveness, and loss of employment that can occur when trade secrets are stolen.
On April 4, the Obama Administration released a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) announcing it “strongly supports” the bill. Yesterday, the House co-chairs of the Congressional Semiconductor Caucus, Reps. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), sent a letter to their colleagues urging support for the bill.
“SIA commends Congress for approving this much-needed legislation and especially appreciates the determined efforts of the bill’s lead sponsors, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), to introduce the bill and shepherd it through the legislative process,” Neuffer said.
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) is the voice of the U.S. semiconductor industry, one of America’s top export industries and a key driver of America’s economic strength, national security, and global competitiveness. Semiconductors – microchips that control all modern electronics – enable the systems and products we use to work, communicate, travel, entertain, harness energy, treat illness, and make new scientific discoveries. The semiconductor industry directly employs nearly a quarter of a million people in the U.S. In 2015, U.S. semiconductor company sales totaled $166 billion, and semiconductors make the global trillion dollar electronics industry possible. SIA seeks to strengthen U.S. leadership of semiconductor manufacturing, design, and research by working with Congress, the Administration and other key industry stakeholders to encourage policies and regulations that fuel innovation, propel business and drive international competition. Learn more at www.semiconductors.org.