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Legal Guide

In Canada, there is no legislation which protects trade secrets. At common law, information may be protected as a trade secret if:

  • •     it is not publicly available or otherwise generally known within the relevant industry or trade; and
  • •     it is treated as secret or confidential at all times by its owner, and adequate steps are taken for this purpose.

To make an effective claim, the plaintiff must show that there has been unauthorized use of the information to his or her detriment.

Employees have an implied obligation not to divulge their employers’ trade secrets. After termination of employment, employees may not use confidential information acquired during such employment. Senior management also have a fiduciary duty to their employer or former employer, which increases their accountability for improper use of confidential information.

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