Many enterprises and organizations need to be able to demonstrate Intellectual Property rights over trade secrets or proprietary data. Yet since trade secrecy or confidentiality rights are, in Canada, based in the common law, how can you go about making them? This post discusses what systems can be put into place to reasonably ensure real-world access control over privately held information, and how implementing such a system leads to establishing enforceable rights.
One of the more interesting points to come out of the law and economics perspective to trade secrecy is that an obligation restricting the further use or disclosure of information operates as a kind of legal substitute for literal secrecy. The law of confidentiality acts as a gate, not a wall, and the types of relationships it enables stands at the beating heart of a modern economy. We explore why this is so by comparing the costly alternative to enforceable confidentiality obligations with the types of relationships that it enables.