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Comparative Intellectual Property Law

Canada

Trade Secret Law in Canada is a matter of common law in all jurisdictions except Quebec - see Quebec Civil Code (2016 CANLII) Article 1457, Article 1458, Article 1472 and Article 1612.

The Security of Information Act RSC 1985 c. O-5, s 19 (official text) covers communicating, obtaining, retaining, altering or destroying trade secrets "for the benefit of a foreign economic entity, and to the detriment of Canada's economic interests, international relations or national defence or national security"

Uniform Trade Secrets Act (1989) - Uniform Law Conference of Canada (official text) - not yet adopted by any Canadian legislature.

United States

Uniform Trade Secrets Act, with 1985 Amendments (1986) (enacted in all states except NY, MA and NC) - HeinOnline - Net ID may be required.

Restatement (Third) of Unfair Competition - see Trade Secrets Chapter 4:Appropriation of Trade Values - Topic 2

Protection of Trade Secrets, 18 USC Chapter 90.  Official text.

Malsberger, chief ed., Trade Secrets: a state by state survey, 2 vols. (2015) - Print at call number KF3197 M35 2015.

International Materials

The Commonwealth

Trade secrets and confidentiality are equitable rather than property rights. See Foreign Law Guide (Net ID may be required) and/or WorldLII to find particular legislation for individual countries.

 

Secondary Sources - Trade Secrets

Yeh, Protection of Trade Secrets: Overview of Current Law and Legislation, 2016 (Congressional Research Service) - U.S. law

Patel, Anand B, Pade, Jeffrey A., Cundiff, Victoria, Newman, Bradford, "The global harmonization of trade secret law: the convergence of protections for trade secret information in the United States and European Union" 83(4) Defense Counsel Journal 472 (2016) 

Sev. Meles (Vidon), Protection of Trade Secrets in France: Legal Framework and Practice (2016)

Osborne Clarke, Protecting trade secrets under English law (2015)

Osborne Clark, Trade secrets under French law (2015)

Splittgerber & Rockstroh, Protecting Trade Secrets in Germany, 2013 (Orrick Trade Secrets Watch)

Jestaedt & Buehling, Trade Secrets in Germany, 2010 (Intellectual Asset Management)

Kardash & Weaver, The Protection of Trade Secrets in Canada, 2008 (ABA)

The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) is a politically neutral, non-profit organization representing over 125 countries that is dedicated to the development of laws protecting IP. 

Index of countries for Protection of Trade Secrets through IPR and Unfair Competition Law, 2010 (AIPPI)

France - Protection of Trade Secrets through IPR and Unfair Competition Law, 2010 (AIPPI)

Germany - Protection of Trade Secrets through IPR and Unfair Competition Law, 2010 (AIPPI)

 

 

 

Great Britain

Trade secret law in the U.K. is a common law rather than statutory. See secondary sources for information on applicable case law. This may change with the adoption of a proposed EU Trade Secrets Directive.

France

There is no legislative protection schedule for trade secrets in French law.  See secondary sources for what protection exists. This may change with the adoption of a proposed EU Trade Secrets Directive.

Germany

There is no single Trade Secrets Act in Germany.  Trade secrets are protected under various provisions of the Unfair Competition Act, the Civil Code, the Criminal Code, the Commercial Code and the Anti-Trust Act.  See secondary sources for details.  This may change with the adoption of the proposed EU Trade Secrets Directive.

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