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Protect IP outside Canada: 2. Minimize disclosure

From: Canadian Intellectual Property Office

2. Minimize disclosure

Talking about your IP before you protect it will increase the risk of imitation and counterfeiting and may prevent you from protecting your IP in some countries. To avoid that, keep inventions and other sensitive information as trade secrets while you seek formal IP protection. Only disclose this information on a need-to-know basis, both internally and externally. Confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements can help protect your IP from premature disclosure.

Potential risks if you do not minimize disclosure

Steps to help you minimize the disclosure of your IP

These precautionary measures will help you protect your IP as a trade secret and allow you some protections that are subject to local trade secret laws.

Step 1: Assess and define the minimum information you need to share

Assess and define the minimum information you are required to share with your employees and partners and with outsiders. Be very selective when you reveal information. Only disclose it on a need-to-know basis.

Step 2: Protect your trade secrets internally

Step 3: Protect your trade secrets externally

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