In a post entitled, Trade Secrets and Third Parties: Top Tips to Prevent Theft, Create.org lists its “five top tips” for protecting your trade secrets, all of which apply to China.
Nothing earth-shattering here, but this is actually a really good list (meaning I agree with it 100%) and it never hurts to review the basics, so here goes:
Conduct a strategic assessment of the company’s trade secrets, a process which should incorporate the company’s trade secret policy, the partner’s code of conduct, an evaluation of which trade secrets can be transferred, and careful consideration of the most appropriate operational structures.
Undertake appropriate pre-contractual due diligence, including a thorough assessment of any potential third party partner, evaluation of other IP-related issues, analysis of the partner’s employment and nondisclosure agreements, and investigation of the partner’s subcontractors.
Employ strong contractual protections to safeguard the company’s trade secrets both during the business relationship and afterward, and consider contractual provisions specifically relating to the partner’s employees and subcontractors.
Utilize appropriate operational and security measures to ensure that the correct personnel, physical security measures and technical safeguards are in place to protect the company’s trade secrets. Systematic engagement with the partner can help bolster the effectiveness of these measures.
Take appropriate action after the business relationship has ended, to ensure that departing employees and former business partners honor their continuing obligation not to disclose trade secrets.