In a recent case reported on 18 May 2013, the Dezhou (Shandong Province) Municipal Intermediate People’s Court dismissed claims of a company against its former employee for breach of his confidentiality obligations, and ruled that a customer list with only customer names on it, should not in itself be considered a “trade secret” for the purposes of the PRC Law Against Unfair Competition. Although the Supreme People’s Court has stated in one of its guiding interpretations that in some instances, client databases or customer information can be considered as “trade secrets” under this law and other laws, the court found that a customer list or database needs to have some value-added components not readily available to the public in order for them to qualify as “trade secrets” – further, the customer lists must be maintained in confidence and protected as trade secrets as well.