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Criminal Code

Version of section 391 from 2020-07-01 to 2022-09-22:


Marginal note:Trade secret

  •  (1) Everyone commits an offence who, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, knowingly obtains a trade secret or communicates or makes available a trade secret.

  • Marginal note:Trade secret — prior knowledge

    (2) Everyone commits an offence who knowingly obtains a trade secret or communicates or makes available a trade secret knowing that it was obtained by the commission of an offence under subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Punishment

    (3) Everyone who commits an offence referred to in subsection (1) or (2) is guilty

    • (a) of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years; or

    • (b) of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

  • Marginal note:For greater certainty

    (4) For greater certainty, no person commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2) if the trade secret was obtained by independent development or by reason only of reverse engineering.

  • Marginal note:Definition of trade secret

    (5) For the purpose of this section, trade secret means any information that

    • (a) is not generally known in the trade or business that uses or may use that information;

    • (b) has economic value from not being generally known; and

    • (c) is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 391
  • 2003, c. 21, s. 6
  • 2020, c. 1, s. 37
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