Our panel at Doing Business Globally in Dallas today discussed the importance of safeguarding trade secrets. Panelists included Baker McKenzie Partners Jochen Herr from Munich, Shih Yann Loo from Hong Kong and Jay Utley from Dallas.
Key takeaways from the group’s discussion:
- Risk is rising every year and keeping a trade secret is becoming more difficult. “61 percent of senior executives we surveyed said trade secrets are a board level issue,” said Baker McKenzie partner Jay Utley, referencing the Firm’s report on the importance of trade secrets.
- In the EU, countries have laws for trade secret protections, but it varies widely from one nation to another. According to Jochen Herr, dealing with trades secrets in the EU requires a great deal of experience.
- With over a billion people, China is an attractive place to set up R&D centers. Dealing with a trade secret can be highly complex in China, however, with court documents requiring notarization and legalization.
How can companies be prepared? The panel recommended this trade secret checklist:
- Identify your trade secrets
- Create and maintain a trade secrets inventory
- Implement protective contractual, physical, technical and organizational measures
- Create a misappropriation action plan