Forum on Democracy and Trade Raises Concerns that ACTA Will Preempt State Common Law on Trade Secrets and Other IP

Mike Palmedo
November 23, 2010

Yesterday, Dana Eidsness, the Director of the Forum on Democracy and Trade wrote US Trade Representative Ron Kirk expressing concerns that ACTA could preempt state common law on IP.  Though most of ACTA would apply to federal law, she lists instances where state law and ACTA could clash:

  • "Trade secret law is almost entirely established by common law contractual and tort remedies;
  • There are doctrines of 'common law copyright' in most states, which may apply in areas not covered by federal law;
  • Trademarks are frequently protected and enforced through state unfair competition laws;
  • Federal patent law is complemented by state tort remedies;
  • Common torts of 'misappropriation' may be available for many intellectual property violations;
  • There are state statutory and common law standards defining a 'right of publicity'."
The complete letter is available at wcl.american.edu/pijip/go/forum11222010.  The Forum on Democracy and Trade funds PIJIP's work on trade policy that may conflict with state law. 

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