Practice

Trade Secrets and Confidential Know-how

Trade secrets and other confidential know-how are the lifeblood of every business and protecting such valuable information is no simple matter. From the EU Trade Secrets Directive and U.S. Defend Trade Secrets Act, to China’s Anti-Unfair Competition Law, change is happening fast.

Our global trade secrets practice can help develop strategies to prevent misuse and will act quickly to assert or defend claims of trade secret misappropriation.

For trade secrets to be protectable, reasonable measures must be taken to guard their secrecy. We work closely with businesses to formulate policies and practices, and conduct training, to prevent the misuse of proprietary information. We also assist in drafting robust non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements, and agreements for the license or sale of industrial secrets.

Should a theft occur, our lawyers command the experience, technical knowledge, and geographical reach necessary to vigorously defend your position, whether heard in court or by an arbitral tribunal. Over recent years, we have led high stakes trade secrets litigation for market leaders across the technology, life sciences, energy, chemicals, and financial services industries. If necessary, we can seek an injunction to prevent misuse of information.

Winners of Managing Intellectual Property’s Global IP Firm of the Year for two consecutive years (2019-2018), we also understand the important connections and distinctions between trade secret and patenting strategies, and can advise on how best to align them. Combined with a multidisciplinary team of employment, privacy and cybersecurity, and anti-bribery and corruption lawyers in key innovation hubs across the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific, we offer a one-stop-shop for trade secrets owners.

Representative experience

Successfully defending a multinational electronics company against a complaint for trade secret misappropriation in connection with solar cell technology – won a motion to dismiss all trade secret claims.

Successfully defending a Taiwanese semiconductor company against claims for trade secret misappropriation in California state court – winning a motion to dismiss the case in its entirety.

Successfully defending a semiconductor company in ITC proceedings alleging trade secret and patent violations relating to PMIC technology – won a determination protecting the vast majority of accused products.

Representing a global pharmaceutical company in trade secret litigation involving the transfer of information by a former employee to a competitor.

Acting for a global high frequency trading business to recover business critical confidential source code from a former employee and their new employer, involving simultaneous 24 hour search orders.

Conducting a six-month study published by the European Commission on trade secrets law: completing a comparative law assessment of protection against infringement in Member States.

Representing a European chemicals company in relation to a trade secret misappropriation action brought in connection with the manufacturing process of a synthetic chemical.

Representing a German machinery company in an investigation and further legal actions against its Chinese former employee on the basis of misappropriation of our client’s technical know-how.

Successfully representing a biotech company relating to alleged trade secrets theft by a venture capital firm seeking to invest in our client and a competitor.


Acting for a global chemical company in transatlantic litigation relating to industrial secrets of a world leading antibiotic formula.

Successfully defending a large communications company against damages claims alleging trade secrets misappropriation in connection with the development of air-to-ground telephone technology.

Representing a major software company in a case involving allegations of trade secrets theft relating to operating system software for our client's largest computer systems.

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