Innovation Asset Blog

American pharmaceutical firm benefits from strengthened IP protection in China

Indianapolis-based global pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly and Company was recently the beneficiary of China's revitalized intellectual property enforcement protocols. Earlier this month, a Shanghai court granted a ban on trade secret circulation in the case of a former Lilly affiliate who had breached their pre-employment non-disclosure agreement.

According to Inside Counsel, a former Lilly research associate operating in China allegedly downloaded more than 20 secret documents related to the company's marketing strategies without executive authorization. The employee was terminated upon discovery of the transgression, yet the company was unable to retrieve the trade secrets in question. As a result, Lilly filed an injunction to prevent to the perpetrator from using or disseminating the pilfered assets.

A Shanghai court has now ruled in the company's favor, marking the first such decision under a new legal provision.

"[T]rade secrets as a kind of intellectual property rights were not properly protected under judicial practices for a long time," Judge Liu Junhua told reporters.

According to China Daily, the Civil Procedure Law addendum responsible for the ruling fills an important gap in the country's IP system. This modernization measure puts China on par with the majority of developed countries, in this regard, and likely bolsters the confidence of foreign business leaders in the process.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.