New: Canada’s Inadequate Legal Protection Against Industrial Espionage

espionage fbi.govAuthors: Emir Crowne & Tasha De Freitas

Abstract: Existing Canadian law does not adequately protect trade secrets from the threat of industrial espionage. Confidential information is not treated as “property” under the Canadian Criminal Code; therefore, an action for unauthorized disclosure or use of trade secrets must be brought under tort law. While tort law provides some protection, victims are only compensated for the actual harm that occurs, not for the value of the confidential information lost. Further, the onerous burden of proof is on the victim who may be financially incapable of bringing suit. This Article proposes that Canada adopt a criminal framework similar to that laid out in the United States’ Economic Espionage Act. Not only would adoption of this framework bring Canada in line with its international treaty obligations under NAFTA and TRIPS, but it would extend protection of confidential information where Canadian law is currently lacking.

The full article is available here.