Reflections on International Aspects of the Protection of Trade Secrets

Patents and Licensing, No. 286, pp. 8 - 17

10 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2021

See all articles by Masabumi Suzuki

Masabumi Suzuki

Faculty of Law, Waseda University

Date Written: April 01, 2020

Abstract

While protection of trade secrets has been strengthened across the world, globalization of economic activities and cross-border movements of people have also become more active than before. Under such circumstances, the relationship between acts committed across national borders (including acts that are entirely committed overseas; hereinafter referred to as “cross-border acts”) and protection of trade secrets is expected to become an issue in an increasing number of cases. The Japanese Unfair Competition Prevention Act already has provisions for responding to such international cases. In addition, discussions have been held to some extent on international jurisdiction and governing law concerning acts of unfair competition in general or wrongful acts related to trade secrets. However, the past discussions are not considered to have sufficiently studied the relationship between cross-border acts and protection of trade secrets based on the contents of specific provisions. In particular, the regulation on the distribution of trade secret-infringing products, which was introduced into the Japanese Unfair Competition Prevention Act by the 2015 amendment and which has been incorporated into the EU Trade Secrets Protection Directive, is a trade secret protection system that differs in nature from the protection system for the conventional categories of wrongful acts, and is considered to have an aspect that should also be studied in relation to cross-border acts. Therefore, this article studies the provisions of the Japanese Unfair Competition Prevention Act concerning offenses committed outside the country, regulation on the distribution of trade secret-infringing products, and other matters from the perspective of the relationship between trade secret protection systems and cross-border acts, while also referring to developments in the United States and the EU.

Keywords: trade secrets, intellectual property

Suggested Citation

Suzuki, Masabumi, Reflections on International Aspects of the Protection of Trade Secrets (April 01, 2020). Patents and Licensing, No. 286, pp. 8 - 17, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3812080

Masabumi Suzuki (Contact Author)

Faculty of Law, Waseda University ( email )

1-6-1 Nishi-waseda
Shinjuku-ku
Tokyo, 1698050
Japan
+81-3-3203-4145 (Phone)
;81-3-3203-4145 (Fax)

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