Trade Secret Theft: Managing the Growing Threat in Supply Chains

May 1, 2012
Categories: Intellectual Property, Supply Chain

Today, released a white paper highlighting the prevalence and escalated risk of trade secret theft to multinational corporations (MNCs) operating in global markets. This paper aims to spark a more public dialogue about how far-reaching and deeply challenging the trade secret issue is for MNCs, and to offer companies practical guidance on securing their supply chains and mitigating the significant risks and costs associated with trade secret theft.

Trade secret misappropriation is a threat that raises barriers for people, economies, and businesses that compete fairly. It harms efforts to create jobs and stimulate growth. It also provokes counterproductive behavior that — if left unchecked — will have severe and lasting consequences on the global economy.

Because many of the global markets where MNCs now operate lack an enforceable framework of laws and regulations, the onus of protecting trade secrets often falls on individual companies. As such, MNCs would benefit from playing a more deliberate and proactive role in protecting their trade secrets across their global supplier networks.

Among the paper’s key guidance for MNCs is that proactive measures must be implemented across organizations to prevent rampant trade secret theft. These measures include:

  1. Conducting a strategic assessment of trade secrets;
  2. Undertaking appropriate pre-contractual due diligence;
  3. Employing strong contractual protections, backed by enforceable audit rights and penalties;
  4. Utilizing appropriate operational and security measures; and
  5. Ensuring appropriate action after a business relationship has ended.

For more information or to learn how to get involved in our efforts, email us at

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