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Economic analysis of Trade Secrets laws vis-à-vis Cyber-espionage


From aviation firms like Boeing (R&D, designs) to cyber giants like Google (search algorithms), as part of their IP strategy, some of the top corporations in the world, adopt trade secrets as a means to protect their intellectual assets.These trade secrets are stored on computer devices and cloud storage networks. However with increasing cyberattacks, the intellectual assets of these companies remain vulnerable to non-state and state acts of cyber-espionage.

Measure of Effect:

I. Pure monopoly:
The paper firstly looks at the need for trade secrecyin today’s cyber age, as means of protecting IP from a pure monopoly point of view.
II. Market failure analysis:
The paper mainly attempts to show that large scale cyber espionage would result in market failure.
III. Economic strategies firms may adopt to mitigate cyber espionage threat:
The paper discusses strategic allocation of a firms fixed budget to protect its trade secrets so as to cause least harm from a cyber theft.
IV. Legal and regulatory framework:
Lastly, the paper examines currentlegal and regulatory frameworkfor tackling cyber espionage of trade secrets and suggests alternative approaches wherever necessary.

Methods and Limitations:

This paper shall rely on articles, papers, books, reports and studies written and conducted by independent third parties and scholars and to this extent,the paper is largely based on empirical evidence. The paper shall also look at leading case laws on the subject. However, since cyber-espionageof trade secrets,althoughvery pertinent today, is still an emerging field of study with little statistical data and moreover for the purpose and ease of studying an economic phenomenon, hypothetical examples and certain assumptions are drawn through the course of the paper.


Last Updated on February 10, 2019

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