What China Can Learn from Common Law Approach to Trade Secrets and the Protection of Confidential Information?
SJTU Law Review (交大法学) , 2020(4) The Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2020-29
20 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2020
Date Written: October 21, 2020
Chinese Abstract:《反不正当竞争法》主导下的商业秘密保护模式对商业秘密的认定遵循“不为公众所知悉”、“具有商业价值”以及“权利人采取保密措施”三个要件，而作为商业秘密法起源地的普通法系对商业秘密的保护大部分是通过违反信赖关系(breach of confidence)之诉实现的。与中国的商业秘密保护体系相比，违反信赖关系之诉的保护客体范围更广、对保密义务的认定更依赖司法实践且注重诚实信用原则。同时，为了在保护商业秘密和维持市场公平竞争的不同政策目的间维持平衡，普通法系对竞业禁止协议的适用做出了更严格的限制。本文以英国及香港特别行政区关于机密信息与商业秘密的司法实践为基础，探讨其为完善中国商业秘密保护体系可能提供的借鉴。
English Abstract:Trade secrets under the Anti-Unfair Competition Law in China refers to “technical information, business operation information, and other commercial information that are not known to the public, have commercial value, and for which the trade secret owner has adopted corresponding measures to maintain its confidentiality.” By contrast, confidential information in many common law jurisdictions is protected through the equitable action for breach of confidence. Compared to trade secret protection in China, breach of confidence protects a wider range of confidential information and it relies more on the function of the judiciary via the doctrine of good faith. To balance the policy goals of trade secret protection and fair competition, the common law approach imposes more restrictions on no-compete agreements. This article uses the case law in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as examples to illustrate the possibility of enhancing trade secret protection in mainland China.
Note: Downloadable document in Chinese.
Keywords: trade secret, confidential information, breach of confidence, confidence, non-compete
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
What China Can Learn from Common Law Approach to Trade Secrets and the Protection of Confidential Information? (October 21, 2020). SJTU Law Review (交大法学) , 2020(4) The Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2020-29, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3716318