Trade Secrets: Jones Day's Global View
Effectively managing and protecting trade secrets and confidential information requires a multi-practice, cross-jurisdictional strategy. Jones Day's Intellectual Property partner Randy Kay, along with lawyers from the Firm's IP, Labor & Employment, Antitrust & Competition Law, and Global Disputes practices, explains the importance of implementing comprehensive policies, practices, systems, and programs to safeguard a company's critical information.
Read the full transcript below:
One of the unique ways that Jones Day helps clients in trade secret matters is by harnessing the talent of lawyers across multiple practice areas. For example, our labor and employment lawyers help clients get the right employee agreements in place to protect trade secrets and confidential information. Similarly, our cybersecurity lawyers help clients protect their digital information and their data to work, to avoid data breaches before they happen. Another example is our intellectual property lawyers work with our clients to protect client's inventions before clients are making disclosures of inventions to other companies, perhaps in a collaboration, they've got the right agreements in place to protect their IP rights. We have lawyers in business and tort litigation, anti-trust, issues and appeals, investigations and white collar defense, and also in our global disputes practice.
Jones Day has immense experience in acting on Trade secrets cases cross border. A case in point is a case I'm currently working on in the UK high court for an American client involving infringement of trade secrets in Europe, particularly in the UK. These cases play to our strength as a global firm that can work seamlessly across office. We have trade secrets specialists in multiple offices across the firm, and we can pull on those resources to add to these complex multi-jurisdictional cases.
As the workforces are moving globally, so trade secret cases are also global. The Jones Day is well-fitted to handle the cases involving multiple jurisdictions. In one of our recent cases, we have involved teams from California, from Taiwan, from China who helped client deal with the dispute involving the parties from different jurisdictions.
We notably have developed a methodology in order to assist client in setting up or improving their trade secret protection policies. We look at the employment contracts, R&D and collaboration agreements, and any other third parties contract that are needed. We also look at how those trade secrets have been developed, how they are used. And based on this audit, we're able to provide the client with guidance as to what could be improved. And finally, of course, we assist the client in setting up or improving their policies based on this audit.
We help clients not just protect trade secrets by litigation, but by implementing policies, practices, programs that help those clients protect the trade secrets in the first instance. Or in the alternative to ensure that those trade secrets don't leak into the organization that they don't want to be incoming from a recent hire or something like that.
Marta Delgado Echevarria:
Well, normally it's either a former agent, distributor, supplier, someone who knows the business really well, or a former employee while using the exact same information, the trade secrets that they learned through working and collaborating with that company, they've taken it, they're using it. How can we make sure they stop using it and that they give it back and that they give fair compensation for the harm.
And those trade secrets can be complicated, and sometimes quite often outside the purview of a labor and employment lawyer. You could be dealing with highly technical compounds or manufacturing processes, or technology. And we need to bring in other practice areas to help, whether that's our IP litigation team, or our patent prosecutors, or other who have that specialized knowledge to assist in telling the story that's going to be successful for the client.
We're dealing with a lot of cases where the Taiwanese employees being attractive or seduced by the Chinese company to do these kinds of trade secret misappropriation. And because the companies is in Taiwan and it happened in Taiwan. But the client's probably in the US. Recently, we have advised foreign companies in Taiwan, how to protect their trade secret and how to collect evidence, just in case.
It's very important that clients consider the possibility of a later trade secret dispute, and that they prepare for it. And preparing means that you have a system in place that allows you to identify what the trade secret is and to have adequate protection for the trade secret at hand. Because if it's not in place, if you cannot show later on that the trade secret is adequately protected. We will have difficulties convincing the court that it's actually a trade secret.
Andrea Weiss Jeffries:
If someone has trade secrets in today's world, everything's digital, they can take a thumb drive, they can send information quickly electronically, they can take information overseas pretty quickly. And so you do need to act quickly to stop that from happening.
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