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Protection of Trade Secrets: Employment Contracts in India

Author: Piyush Singh Phogat, Student, Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India

Abstract This study seeks to identify the legal position of protection offered to trade secret and also evaluate the important role played by the employment contracts in ensuring that employees do not share trade secrets. If any piece of information which has economic value and is kept private, it can be treated as a trade secret provided that it provides a competitive edge over competing firms. The unauthorized use of such information by persons other than the holder is regarded as an unfair practice and violation of trade secrets. When a contract is entered between the owner of the trade secret and the employee of the business holding and protecting the trade secret, it is an obligation upon the employee to protect the secret and to ensure that he does not disclose the trade secret to any other person. Such an agreement between the owner and employee is known as ‘confidentiality agreement’. It is also essential to note that such an obligation may be in the implied or express form in the agreement. This study provides a detailed analysis of the significance of the protection of trade secrets through contractual obligation and also analyzes the trade secret scenario in India.

Keywords: Trade secret, Employee contracts, confidentiality agreement

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