Law and Practice
As stressed in Chapters 4 and 5, the best strategy for a business that needs to protect its trade secrets is to develop a trade secret protection programme that includes: instituting adequate security measures; obtaining appropriate confidentiality agreements; and vigilance in monitoring for compliance. However, there may come a time when those measures fail and steps must be taken quickly to preserve the trade secret status of threatened information. Whether this can be done successfully depends upon the enforcement mechanisms that are available in the country where enforcement is sought. Thus, consideration should always be given to the available enforcement mechanisms before any trade secrets are disclosed in a given country. It may be that the benefits of offshoring certain business functions are outweighed by the threats to trade secrets, but this is a calculation that should be made consciously with a full appreciation of the risks and benefits. Chapters 9 and 10 provide an overview of the enforcement mechanisms that are available in seven different countries and, more generally, illustrate the range of legal systems and legal processes that exist throughout the world. As a prelude to that discussion, and because US trade secret law is being touted as a model for trade secret harmonization, this chapter highlights the trade secret enforcement mechanisms of the United States, including the civil, criminal and administrative actions.
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