Granting an injunction remedy that orders someone to do or refrain from doing a specific act is a hallmark of a property right, including in intellectual property. Yet for trade secrets and confidential information, Canadian courts take a “flexible and imaginative approach” to selecting the legal remedy – meaning that trade secrets may or may not be treated like intellectual property in this sense. This post explores why, in practice, the courts tend to be reluctant to grant an injunction prohibiting misappropriating behaviour after too much time has passed. As a result, asserting proprietary rights to a trade secret typically requires seeking a pre-trial injunction shortly after detecting the wrongdoing.
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.