Law and Practice
Elgar Intellectual Property Law and Practice series
Ask any business, large or small, to identify one of its most important assets and it is bound to identify its confidential and proprietary information or ‘trade secrets’. This is because it is in the nature of businesses to try to secure a competitive advantage over rivals and inventing the proverbial ‘better mousetrap’ is one way to do so. Frequently, businesses that invent or create something new will seek patent protection for their inventions or rely upon copyright protection for their creations and writings. However, for a number of reasons (including the costs of patent prosecution and enforcement) they often choose to rely on secrecy instead. Even if they choose to patent their inventions there is a period of time during the research and development process and before any patent application is published where secrecy is important and where the laws governing the protection of business information are of great significance. This book explains the scope and limits of the law governing the protection of business secrets and provides practical advice on how to protect those secrets while still engaging in global commerce. It begins in Part I with a detailed examination of the meaning and application of trade secret law in the United States. Part II then provides information concerning the process for learning and understanding the laws of other countries and follows with overviews of the trade secret laws of seven countries: Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, Japan and the United Kingdom.