Trade Secrecy and International Transactions

Trade Secrecy and International Transactions

Law and Practice

Elgar Intellectual Property Law and Practice series

Elizabeth Rowe and Sharon K. Sandeen

Providing a valuable source of information on the law and practice of trade secrecy in international business transactions, this book provides concise but authoritative insight into international trade secret harmonization efforts and the trade secret laws of many countries. Trade secret law in the United States is promoted as the international standard for trade secret protection and a detailed explanation of the scope and limits of trade secret law in the US is presented here alongside practical guidance on how businesses can enhance trade secret protection while engaging in global commerce.


Elizabeth Rowe and Sharon K. Sandeen

Subjects: law - academic, intellectual property law, law -professional, intellectual property law


As noted in Chapter 1, the first effort to harmonize international trade secret principles occurred as part of the negotiations that led to the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) when the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (‘TRIPS Agreement’) was included as an annex (or appendix) to the broader WTO Agreement. For those unfamiliar with the history and purpose of the TRIPS Agreement, it is important to first understand the significance of its inclusion as an annex to the agreement that created the WTO. As has been noted repeatedly elsewhere, one of the most important features (if not the most important feature) of the WTO Agreement is that it includes enforcement provisions that allow WTO member countries to bring actions against other countries that they contend are not in compliance with the terms of the WTO Agreement. This is done pursuant to a prescribed dispute settlement process that has several stages and can result in an enforceable finding of non-compliance. Any WTO member country that does not comply with the provisions of Article 39 of the TRIPS Agreement may be subjected to the WTO Agreement’s dispute settlement process and, ultimately, may be required to correct its laws.

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