March 28, 2017

Congress Amends the EEA for the Second Time in 2012

At 11:13 pm on January 1, 2013, the House passed the Senate-amended version of H.R. 6029 to increase the penalties for violating the Economic Espionage Act of 1996. Under the House-passed H.R. 6029, the upper limit of penalties for individual offenses at 18 U.S.C. 1831(a) would be increased from $500,000 to $5,000,000; the upper limit for corporate offenses at Section 1831(b) would be increased from $10,000,000 to the greater of $10,000,000 or 3 times the value of the stolen trade secret to the organization, including expenses for research and design and other costs of reproducing the trade secret that the organization has thereby avoided.

This the second amendment to the EEA passed by Congress this year.

To read the December 30 House proceedings on H.R. 6029, click here.

The bill also directs the United States Sentencing to:

(1) consider the extent to which the Federal sentencing guidelines and policy
statements appropriately account for the simple misappropriation of a trade secret,
including the sufficiency of the existing enhancement for these offenses to address
the seriousness of this conduct;
(2) consider whether additional enhancements in the Federal sentencing
guidelines and policy statements are appropriate to account for–
(A) the transmission or attempted transmission of a stolen trade secret outside of
the United States; and
(B) the transmission or attempted transmission of a stolen trade secret outside of
the United States that is committed or attempted to be committed for the benefit of
a foreign government, foreign instrumentality, or foreign agent;
(3) ensure the Federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements reflect the
seriousness of these offenses and the need to deter such conduct;
(4) ensure reasonable consistency with other relevant directives, Federal
sentencing guidelines and policy statements, and related Federal statutes;
(5) make any necessary conforming changes to the Federal sentencing guidelines
and policy statements; and
(6) ensure that the Federal sentencing guidelines adequately meet the purposes
of sentencing as set forth in section 3553(a)(2) of title 18, United States Code.

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