How not to kill trade secrets with non-competes and NDAs: A global survey

3 minute read
10 November 2023

As one method of safeguarding trade secrets and shielding them from misappropriation, companies often use non-competes and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). The problem, however, is that non-competes and NDAs may not always be legally enforceable, thus falling short of delivering the intended protection.

This article offers a brief global survey highlighting the enforceability of non-competes and NDAs in seven key jurisdictions around the world.

What are trade secrets?

For many companies, regardless of their size, the most prized intellectual property asset may not be a registrable asset (e.g., a patent or a trademark), but rather a trade secret – one that allows the company to maintain a competitive edge. Typical examples include core technical know-how, source code and data.

Our article "Confidential information, know-how and trade secrets: The importance of definition in valuation" outlines how trade secrets are defined across different jurisdictions.

How are non-competes and NDAs enforced around the world?

Protecting your trade secrets globally

When it comes to trade secrets, a comprehensive global strategy can help you navigate and account for the legal requirements of different jurisdictions.

Gowling WLG is an international law firm with offices in Canada, the UK, Europe, the UAE and China, and valued relationships with firms in other jurisdictions. This allows us to deliver global trade secrets solutions to clients around the world.

Additional insights on the protection of know-how, trade secrets and confidential information is available on our Trade Secrets Law page.

This article was co-authored by Vivian Wei Cheng a patent attorney working in the offices of JurisAsia LLC, with whom Gowling WLG has an exclusive association.

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