Q: How to prove trade secret infringement?
A: The determination of trade secret infringement generally follows the principle of “Contact + Similarity - Legitimate Source.” “Contact” means that the right holder has the evidence to prove that the accused infringer can obtain the trade secret with certain access. For example, the accused infringer had worked as the company's technician, had contact with secret technical information during his work and then disclosed the information illegally to third parties. “Similarity” means that the right holder has the evidence to prove that the accused infringer has actually used the trade secret in production and management, that is, the subject matter is the same as or substantially similar to the trade secret. “Legitimate Source” means that the accused infringer has evidence to prove that he has an independent and legitimate source for the information which is the same as or similar to the trade secret of the right holder. With legitimate source, the accused infringer is not liable for infringement liability. The general approaches of legitimate source include independent research, commissioned development and reverse engineering. However, the court does not support the claim by the accused infringer if he knows the trade secret by improper means and then fabricates a source by reverse engineering.