How to protect your trade secrets in facilities abroad

Companies must put reasonable measures in place to maintain secrecy

One of the biggest issues in international trade secret cases, according to McAndrews, Held & Malloy Shareholder Dean Pelletier, is whether a company took reasonable measures to maintain the confidentiality of its trade secrets.

Pelletier says any U.S. company thinking of operating internationally should be proactive in instilling these reasonable measures in facilities abroad.

“It’s highly valuable if the company, as a practical matter, has one or more U.S. employees in management over in the foreign facility to ensure that the U.S.-style ‘reasonable measures’ are being properly implemented,” Pelletier says. “It can greatly eliminate the cultural gap if you have [a U.S. employee] on the ground. It will make you that much more confident, and in fact, you’ll be better off down the road when you attempt to assert your trade secrets.”

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