Since the value of a company is increasingly made up of intangible assets, including intellectual property such as trade secrets, as opposed to tangible (e.g., bricks and mortar) assets, protecting and securing those important assets is vital to a company's long-term success.
Employers must keep in mind the fact that there is a thin line between, on the one hand, confidential information belonging to a company that remains protected by virtue of the duty of loyalty and, on the other hand, the personal knowledge and skills that an employee has acquired throughout the years and is entitled to bring to a competitor.
Several recent court cases in the United States focus on the misappropriation of trade secrets by employees departing technology companies. These high profile American cases are a reminder that Canadian companies face the same issues.
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