PROTECTION OF TRADE SECRETS - DOES INDIA NEED A SEPARATE LEGISLATION?
In this world of the free market, intellectual property laws play a very vital role. They constitute the most important tool to survive in a rather competitive market. Intellectual property law ensures that rights of an owner of the intellectual property are not being infringed to his prejudice by a third party so that he exclusively enjoys the rightful fruit of his labour, skill and judgement. Since these rights are the creation of statutes, which are limited in time and space, they are legitimized by the state and thus protected by it. The existing legal regime on the protection of intellectual property rights is ineffective in so far as the protection of Trade Secrets is concerned as these rights require registration with the government which entails a very expensive burden. Also, if a Trade Secret is to be registered either as copyright or as patent, it would automatically come into the public domain, rendering the secret public. Moreover, Copyright law also does not grant any protection whatsoever to Trade Secret as there can be no Copyright in an idea and makes an action for the breach of trust or confidence independent of the Act. Thus, it can be said that Trade secret is the creation of common law.