Trade Secrets Law

Overview

Developing a trade secrets policy is an essential aspect of creating effective protection and providing the necessary platform for enforcement, if the need arises.

Our international cross-disciplinary team of trade secrets lawyers provide a seamless bundle of services meeting your needs for the protection of your sensitive business information - from the creation and implementation of trade secrets policies to global enforcement.

The success of any business depends on its ability to distinguish itself from the competition through the value or individuality of its ideas. Amid the frenetic pace of innovation in today's global economy, the protection of such ideas is as critical as ever. Indeed, trade secrets have become an executive-level priority for companies across all sectors.

A trade secrets strategy should be a critical part of any IP and business plan. It allows you to identify and develop valuable and confidential information relating to your business offering and effectively implement the policies and processes, and deploy the required resources, needed to maintain and extract value from it. Having a robust trade secrets policy also allows you to identify and enforce any misappropriation or misuse of those trade secrets.

Whether you are looking to protect your own trade secrets from being stolen, if your secrets have been misused or if someone else is bringing a trade secret claim against you, we can help guide you through trade secrets law around the world and across a number of key sectors. Our trade secrets lawyers will help you put a trade secrets policy at the heart of your organisation's overall IP strategy enabling you to fully profit from your innovations.

Trade secrets legal services

Client work

Gowling WLG's global IP team is a "finely tuned machine" for its strength and ability to collaborate across the firm's offices and provide a "joined-up global service" for its clients.IAM Patent 1000

Some of our past and current projects include:

Meet our international team

Our Trade Secrets team forms part of our world-leading IP group to create a holistic service for clients in every sector and jurisdiction. From the creation to the exploitation of inventions, designs, brands and all manner of creative assets. Find out more about our trade secrets work in our key jurisdictions.

Canada

The success of a business depends on it distinguishing itself from the competition. Giving that value or having that edge that others do not possess. This includes know-how, trade secrets, patents and other forms of IP. Especially in Canada, where trade secrets law and protection is based on common law and civil law principles, companies need to know how best to secure protection. And without a formal process to protect trade secrets, you need to consider different ways to keep sensitive business information confidential.

Our team of professionals in Canada are highly experienced in guiding clients in protecting company secrets and creating trade secrets policies that are right for your business strategy. To help our clients of all sizes manage the growing risks we offer a package of services and tools to help readily identify, track, maintain, and extract value from their trade secrets and other proprietary information. Our services also help to identify and enforce any misappropriation or mis-use of such information.

Awards and recognition

We are proud to be recognised by an array of legal directories in the IP space. IAM Patent 1000 names our team across litigation, transactions and prosecutions categories, with 13 of our professionals also named as Leading Patent Professionals. Chambers and Partners ranks us in Band 1 in the "Intellectual Property" and "Intellectual Property Litigation" categories in Canada. The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory ranks our team across regional firm rankings for "Intellectual Property" as well as 34 of our professionals in the individual rankings.

Contact our team in Canada

Anita Nador
Partner

China

As your company grows, it can be difficult to identify and manage the distinguishing factors that set your business apart from the competition.

As stated in the China Civil Code, which came into force on 1 January 2021, trade secrets are a type of intellectual property right and shall therefore be protected by intellectual property laws. But the current China's legal system of trade secrets consists of various laws, local regulations and court interpretation.

Our IP team in China is here to help you navigate through to protect your trade secrets and "know how" to ensure you sustain your edge in the marketplace. Our exclusive referral arrangement with Chongquing Aquila Law Firm (Aquila Law) allows us to provide clients with seamless access to the Chinese courts and IP offices, while our Beijing and Shanghai filing and prosecution practices are backed by the systems and experience that comes with managing IP portfolios for some of the largest companies in the world. Our corporate/commercial lawyers based in Guangzhou, work together with our IP professionals to overcome the challenges of doing business in China and achieve your business goals.

Awards and recognition

Our team in China is ranked by IAM Patent 1000 in the firm rankings for the region with Elliot Papageorgiou also recognised as a Leading Patent Professional for litigation.

Contact our team in China

Ivy Liang
Legal Director

Related Insights & Resources

Webinar on patent strategies tech engineering On-demand webinar
02 July 2020 Lifecycle of a Smart Idea | Global patent strategies in the world of tech & engineering CLE/CPD:1 hour of CPD credits with the LSO and LSBC, and may be eligible for up to 1 hour of CPD/CLE credits in other jurisdictions.

France

While trade secrets are valuable assets for your business, if they are not appropriately protected their value can quickly vanish. France has implemented the Trade Secrets Directive (EU Directive 2016/943) and provides legislation for the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information.

Our team of lawyers in France are highly experienced in helping businesses navigate the complex landscape of trade secrets law to create effective protection and provide a platform for enforcement.

Awards and recognition

Our team is consistently ranked by IAM Patent 1000 in the litigation and transactions categories.

Céline Bey, head of our IP practice in France, is also regularly recognised by the IP directories for her experience and is named as a Leading Patent Professional by IAM Patent 1000 for both litigation and transactions.

Contact our team in France

Céline Bey
Partner

Related Insights & Resources

Webinar on patent strategies tech engineering On-demand webinar
02 July 2020 Lifecycle of a Smart Idea | Global patent strategies in the world of tech & engineering CLE/CPD:1 hour of CPD credits with the LSO and LSBC, and may be eligible for up to 1 hour of CPD/CLE credits in other jurisdictions.
Webinar on optimising life sciences patents On-demand webinar
23 June 2020 Lifecycle of a smart idea | Patent strategy: Optimizing life sciences patents CLE/CPD:1 hour of CPD credits with the LSO and LSBC, and may be eligible for up to 1 hour of CPD/CLE credits in other jurisdictions.

Germany

The German Trade Secrets Act came into force in 2019, providing legal grounds for the protection and enforcement of undisclosed know-how and business information, defining 'What is a trade secret'. It covers the unauthorised acquisition, use or disclosure of business and trade secrets. While offering new opportunities, the trade secret law comes with high demands for trade secret owners and a need for action to ensure trade secret protection with appropriate confidentially measures - within a company and with third parties as well as during litigation.

Recognising the complexity that comes with protecting trade secrets, we can guide you through the key stages to ensuring your secrets are safe and have recognised value within your business. Offering a full package of services to meet your needs, we have a high level of experience in helping all kinds of businesses, from start-ups to household names; protect their IP and trade secrets.

Contact our team in Germany

Dr Inga-Marlene Pietsch
Principal Associate

Related Insights & Resources

Webinar on patent strategies tech engineering On-demand webinar
02 July 2020 Lifecycle of a Smart Idea | Global patent strategies in the world of tech & engineering CLE/CPD:1 hour of CPD credits with the LSO and LSBC, and may be eligible for up to 1 hour of CPD/CLE credits in other jurisdictions.

UAE

There are many ways and laws for trade secret protection in the UAE, though there is no specific nor comprehensive trade secrets law.

Our UAE team, based in Dubai, offers advanced trade secrets solutions throughout the Middle East with a service tailored to your needs.

With extensive knowledge across a wide range of sectors, our team will help you to overcome the complex obstacles by delivering practical, cost-effective legal advice focused on growing and protecting your business.

Awards and recognition

IAM Patent 1000 names our team in the UAE in its firm rankings, as well as Jon Parker and Tamara El Shibib as Leading Patent Professionals. Jon Parker is consistently ranked in the leading IP directories including MIP's "IP Stars" and IAM Global Leaders. In its global edition, Chambers & Partners ranks him in Band 1 for "Intellectual Property", describing him as "distinguished name in the market".

Managing Intellectual Property named the team as the "Middle East Firm to watch" in 2019

Contact our team in the UAE

Jon Parker
Partner

Related Insights & Resources

Webinar on patent strategies tech engineering On-demand webinar
02 July 2020 Lifecycle of a Smart Idea | Global patent strategies in the world of tech & engineering CLE/CPD:1 hour of CPD credits with the LSO and LSBC, and may be eligible for up to 1 hour of CPD/CLE credits in other jurisdictions.
Webinar on optimising life sciences patents On-demand webinar
23 June 2020 Lifecycle of a smart idea | Patent strategy: Optimizing life sciences patents CLE/CPD:1 hour of CPD credits with the LSO and LSBC, and may be eligible for up to 1 hour of CPD/CLE credits in other jurisdictions.
On-demand webinar
08 June 2020 Lifecycle of a Smart Idea | Trade Secrets: The what, how and where of international protection CLE/CPD:1 hour of CPD credits with the LSO and LSBC, and may be eligible for up to 1 hour of CPD/CLE credits in other jurisdictions.

UK

Trade secrets have become an increasing focal point in the innovation ecosystem. Businesses across sectors need to take a hard look at their existing trade secret management and protection policies. This includes adapting to evolving best practice and case law following implementation of the EU Trade Secrets Directive and Brexit, ensuring maximum protection for newly important assets: data and data analysis (such as AI).

A robust trade secrets strategy, enables your business to identify and manage your most valuable intangible assets and protect them from both internal and external threats of misappropriation . Our team of trade secrets lawyers in the UK will help you to create and implement the policies and processes needed to protect all forms of your IP.

We have a deep understanding of what it takes to protect your trade secrets, offering a tailored suite of services, including audits and advice, drafting of policies, NDA and other agreements, training of your teams, enforcement and crisis response – all supported by multi-disciplinary teams from across our full-service law firm.

Awards and recognition

IAM Patent 1000 regularly recognises our team in the litigation and transactions categories, as well as naming several of our lawyers as Leading Patent Professionals. The Legal 500 ranks our team in Band 1 for "Intellectual Property" in the West Midlands and Band 2 for "Intellectual Property: Patents (Contentious and Non-Contentious)" in London. Chambers and Partners ranks the team in Band 2 for "Intellectual Property" and "Patent Litigation" in London and Band 1 for "Intellectual Property" in National Leaders and Midlands.

Contact our team in UK

Huw Evans
Partner, Head of Patent Litigation (UK)

Matt Hervey
Partner, Head of Artificial Intelligence (UK)