A comparative analysis of the approaches to trade secrets protection between Namibia and the USA
Authors: Johannes A. Iitembu & Lineekela Usebiu
Affiliations: Senior Lecturer, Department of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Namibia; Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of Namibia
Source: Journal of Corporate and Commercial Law & Practice, Volume 7 Issue 2, 2021, p. 83 – 100
The adequacy of trade secret protection is one of the key pillars for promoting domestic and foreign-derived innovations. Therefore, various countries have chosen varying approaches that they deem adequate to protect the trade secrets of their citizens and foreigners. This article compares the approaches to protecting trade secrets in Namibia and the United States of America (USA). The analysis demonstrates that the USA approach better protects trade secrets, whether domestic or foreign, as it removes many uncertainties and brings simplicity and uniformity to litigating trade secrets issues, including clarity on available civil or criminal remedies. For members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), having an adequate statute for the protection of trade secrets also removes the weakness of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which only requires that members enforce IPR through domestic law enforcement in the member state. Developing nations, like Namibia, can therefore adopt a statutory approach as applied in developed nations like the USA. Adequate protection of trade secrets will not only increase domestic innovation but may also lead to ease of collaboration with developed nations in innovation-related projects.