Trade Secret Litigation Injunction Rulings in China

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(By You Yunting) According to media reports (note: the link is in Chinese), Eli Lilly and Company and Eli Lilly (China) sued an employee named Huang in the Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People’s Court. That court recently issued the first trade secret litigation injunction in China’s history, and ruled a litigation preservation that prohibited Huang from disclosing, using, or allowing any third party to use 21 documents that were protected as trade secrets by the plaintiff.

Inductions to the Case:

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Could User Information Be Considered Trade Secret in China?

Abstract: trade secret must have three basic features: confidentiality, practicability, and security. Therefore, whether user information in a website could be considered as trade secret or not, it shall also be judged based on these three basic features.

(By Luo Yanjie) User information is very important to a website daily operation. To judge it from the legal protection perspective, it is generally protected as a trade secret. The case introduced in this article is a typical dispute on whether the user information could be considered a trade secret, and thereby could infringement be decided.

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How to Infer the Trade Secret Disclosure by Original Staffs in China?

Abstract

(By Albert Chen) How to demonstrate one’s original employee has presented the trade secret gained during his/her service to the new employer, who thereafter makes benefit of it? As no direct evidences are available, in the current judicial practices, the principle of “similarity, contactable and excluding lawful origin” has been adopted for the case judging.

Case Summary:

Zhao once had her employment with Jiashan Shengguang Electronics Co., Ltd. (the “Company S”) from February 20th 2002 to March 19th 2006, and was in charge of the sales of the company. During her service there, Zhao, as the representative of Company S, concluded several transactions on vehicles lighting with Mexican DDB Company.

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Should Chinese Enterprise Employees Who Have Not Signed An NDA Still Have A Duty to Not Disclose?

Abstract

(By Albert Chen) In practice, we have seen numerous companies not signing any NDA or confidential clauses in employment contracts with their staff. But even so, taking into consideration confidentiality measures taken by a company, like making requirements for the handling of client information, and taking into consideration the confidential content of said information, one could easily conclude most companies intend to maintain nondisclosure of confidential information, and as a corollary staff and employees also maintain these efforts at nondisclosure.

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What Information Could Be Considered as Trade Secret in Tech Product Transaction in China?

Abstract

(By Albert Chen) The tech product transaction involves the information of technology and business. Among such information, to judge which part could be considered as trademark secret, it shall be based upon Article 10 of the Anti Unfair Competition Law, which regulates that to determine the trade secret, the court shall evaluate “whether it is known to the public”, “benefiting”, “practicability” and “confidentiality”.

Case Summary

In 1998, Shanghai Zhenxing Aluminum Co., Ltd. (the “Zhengxing Company”) developed a manufacturing technology, which the company used to produce articles. This technology created by Zhenxing set the standard for the production of the article. Shanghai Huikai Aluminum Co., Ltd. (the “Huikai Company”) was founded on September 10th 2003, and afterwards carried out the business in the same product manufacturing as Zhenxing. As investigated, among the 70 clients of Huikai, 68 once transacted with Zhenxing. For these clients, most products they purchased from Huikaiu were almost the same as those they bought from Zhenxing. Furthermore, Qin and Pan, who are now working in Huikai, are former employees of Zhenxing. During their employment with Zhenxing, the company signed confidential article in the labor contract and also an independent confidential agreement.

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Could User Information Be Considered Trade Secret in China?

Abstract: trade secret must have three basic features: confidentiality, practicability, and security. Therefore, whether user information in a website could be considered as trade secret or not, it shall also be judged based on these three basic features.

(By Luo Yanjie) To a website, its’ user information is very important to its daily operation. To judge it from the legal protection perspective, it is generally protected as a trade secret. The case introduced in this article is a typical dispute on whether the user information could be considered a trade secret, and thereby could infringement be decided.

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