Uncovering Trade Secrets in China: An Empirical Study of Civil Litigation from 2010 to 2020
Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, Volume 17, Issue 9, 2022, Oxford University Press
The Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2022-39
25 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2022 Last revised: 10 Nov 2022
Date Written: September 21, 2022
The importance of trade secrets has been increasingly recognized by both policymakers and industry players in China. This said, the country’s trading partners and foreign investors have perceptions that trade secret protection there is far from adequate. These perceptions are rooted largely in the unsatisfactory plaintiff win rates, the low awarded damages and the excessive burden-of-proof requirements that trade secret owners are subjected to by China. Although these issues have been controversial for more than two decades, relevant debates have been framed, without empirical support, as simply the perceptions of diverse stakeholders. To help bridge the gaps in this debate, we investigate herein all published civil cases pertaining to trade secret misappropriation in China from 2010 to 2020. In analysing the empirical data, we present various findings that shed considerable light on patterns of trade secret protection in China during the 2010–2020 period.
Keywords: trade secret, China, civil litigation, empirical study
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation