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What are the main ways for the disclosure of trade secrets?

Dojammer 2021-10-27

The leakage of commercial secrets will have a great impact on the company, and may even cause damage to the company’s funds and affect the development of the company. Therefore, for companies, understanding the ways of leaking from various aspects can help them to conduct more comprehensive protection and formulate relevant plan. What are the ways to cause companies to leak secrets?

1. Commercial espionage

Some companies believe that the effective shortcut to research and development is to obtain the trade secrets of competitors. This concept makes more and more companies, even those with good international reputation, use industrial (commercial) spies to illegally obtain the trade secrets of competitors.

2. Leakage of secrets by resigned or current employees

Driven by improper interests, employees or employees collectively resign may take away trade secrets; unfaithful current employees may also provide trade secrets to others. The proportion of employees leaking trade secrets within enterprises is relatively large. According to relevant investigations, 30% of enterprises leaking trade secrets are in-service employees and 28% are retired employees. 

3. Suppliers and customers

Companies often need to disclose certain secrets of products, parts, materials, production equipment or processes to suppliers or customers. And these suppliers or customers often have to engage in business dealings with the company's competitors or potential competitors. Therefore, even a supplier who talks about credit may be a potential source of danger for leaking trade secrets, especially suppliers in key links. As far as customers or future customers are concerned, they may also leak corporate trade secrets to competitors, or turn trade secret users into corporate competitors. 

4. Public presentations and speeches of technical writings

Technical writings and speeches are free information and are the main source of free information. Many professionals are willing to tell their advanced research results to their technical colleagues, this is natural, because it means academic status and professional prestige in the field. However, this also means that this information has entered the public domain, and companies can never claim ownership of the trade secret. For example, in the early 1980s, China's hybrid rice technology was at the world's leading level. However, the "secret" of this technology was lost due to the publication of more than 50 papers in public magazines.

5. Do not pay attention to the management of waste and secret carriers

In addition to regular documents and materials, trade secrets are also commonly found in waste carriers such as used computer disks, office waste paper, and industrial waste, and are easily overlooked. Therefore, when disposing of waste electronic equipment, you must remember to dispose of the information.

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