At the 25th session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), intellectual property rights were emphasized with a focus on trade secrets. Trade secrets have been a core concern among foreign companies in China. Lack of enforcement has been attributed to things like China’s limited experience with trade secret cases and reluctance on the part of the local governments to take on complex cases because of the time and resources involved.
trade secret is a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, commercial method, or compilation of information not generally known or reasonably ascertainable by others by which a business can obtain an economic advantage over competitors or customers. Many brands choose to maintain trade secrets in favor of patents or other various methods of protection because trade secrets do not require public disclosure, where a patent does. Keeping information a trade secret prevents competitors from gaining the knowledge necessary to reproduce the process themselves. Although there is no federal registration for trade secrets, they are still protected under the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) at the federal level, and by state statute under the adoption of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA).