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 8, there are a number of different legal traditions throughout the world, but the two predominant systems are the common law system and the civil law system. Today, approximately 80 countries follow the common law tradition, including the United States (discussed in Part I). For purposes of trade secret law, we begin with a discussion of the common law because, as discussed in Part I, US trade secret law sprang from the common law development of trade secret principles in England beginning in the early 1800s and, thus, it is important to understand how such law has developed since that time. Generally, whereas the United States decided to speed-up and clarify the common law development of trade secret principles by enacting the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, the trade secret laws of the countries featured herein have evolved over a long period of time as part of the common law tort of breach of confidence. Three traditional common law countries are discussed in this section: the United Kingdom, Canada and India. However, while the focus of this section is on only three countries, many other common law countries with former ties to Great Britain tend to cite to English court decisions and, thus, the trade secret laws of those countries are very similar to what is discussed below.

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