At a co-hosted event last week, Covington & Burling LLP and The George Washington University’s Cybersecurity Initiative released an issue brief on the growing threats of cyberespionage and trade secret theft and responses to address these threats.  The paper provides an overview of existing laws and policy reforms being considered in the U.S. and European Union to prevent trade secret theft and economic espionage.  It also reviews challenges in trade secrets enforcement in select markets overseas and explores ways for the private sector and governments to improve trade secret protection and enforcement internationally. 

In particular, the paper makes the following recommendations:

  • The first line of defense against trade secret theft is a company’s own protection program.  Companies should be proactive in investing in trade secret protection. 
  • For their part, governments, and the U.S. government in particular, should utilize trade policy tools to elevate the importance of trade secrets protection, raise global standards, and promote more effective deterrence. 
  • The U.S. government should also improve internal coordination among agencies with responsibility for cybersecurity and the protection of trade secrets.

The full briefing paper is available here.