Do Japanese laws protect trade secrets?

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When an employee leaves the service of a company, he or she is required by law to keep trade secrets confidential.  Revealing trade secrets, whether for compensation or for free, is illegal and the basis for a lawsuit under Japan’s unfair competition laws.  Companies are subject to the same liability for questioning their own employees about the trade secrets of the employee’s former companies.

Damages in an unfair competition lawsuit arising from the use of disclosed trade secrets are one possible remedy that the plaintiff can obtain.  Furthermore, courts are empowered to issue a protective order in unfair competition lawsuits to prevent the use of illegally obtained trade secrets.

If you are worried that a former employee has disclosed your company’s trade secrets or have questions about trade secrets in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.