Many people get concerned when looking into the SRED program about how safe their trade secrets are. One of the key components of the SR&ED program is that you are faced with technological obstacles that don’t currently have any known methods to solving these problems – and in claiming for the SR&ED program, you’re going to need to cover how you overcame these obstacles. It’s only natural that you are going to be worried that what you worked hard to discover could be easily made known to your competition.
But the reality of the situation is that your trade secrets are safe and are kept completely confidential.
First of all, the CRA only looks as deep as it needs to, in order to discover whether your SR&ED projects qualify for the program – they only looks to see that there are technological obstacles, technological advancement and technical content. It isn’t always necessary for the CRA to look at the exact principles of your projects – when it is necessary, they maintain the strictest of confidentiality. In fact, the CRA has put rules and legislative precautions in place in order to protect your confidentiality.
If you are working with a consultant to prepare your SR&ED claim, your consultant should also maintain the strictest confidentiality with your technologies and intellectual property. If you have any concerns that these may not be the case, a standard non-disclosure agreement should be signed to the respect.
So, it is indeed a myth that your trade secrets aren’t safe when claiming for the SR&ED program, and this should not be a reason why you don’t consider filing for the SR&ED program.