The terms and procedure for protection against unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure of trade secret, that is realized in civil court cases, are governed by the new Protection of the Trade Secret Act
Trade secret means: Every trade information, know-how and technological information which meets all of the following requirements:
- It is secret in the sense that it is not, as a body or in the precise configuration and assembly of its components, generally known among or readily accessible to persons within the circles that normally deal with the kind of information in question;
- It has commercial value because of its secret nature;
- Measures are taken to keep it secret from the person who has control over the information.
As a trade secret holder, the legislator has defined any natural or legal person lawfully controlling a trade secret.
Within the meaning of the Protection of the Trade Secret Act infringer means any natural or legal person who has unlawfully acquired, used or disclosed a trade secret.
The subject of infringement are goods, which design, characteristics, functioning, production process or marketing, which are significantly influenced from trade secrets unlawfully acquired, used or disclosed.
The acquisition of a trade secret without the consent of the trade secret holder shall be considered unlawful, whenever carried out by:
- Unauthorized access to, appropriation of, or copying of any documents, objects, materials, substances or electronic files, lawfully under the control of the trade secret holder, containing the trade secret or information from which the trade secret can be deduced;
- Any other conduct, which is considered contrary to honest commercial practices.
The use or disclosure of a trade secret, without the consent of its holder, shall be considered unlawful whenever carried out by a person who:
- Unlawfully acquired the trade secret;
- Breach of a confidentiality agreement or any other obligations not to disclose the trade secret; or
- Breach of an obligation to restrict the use of the trade secret.
For the purpose of ensuring protection against unlawful actions, the trade secret holder can initiate proceedings before court against any infringer of trade secret for determining unlawful acquisition, use or disclosure of trade secret, and for:
- Adjudging damages for damages sustained and profits lost;
- Cessation or prohibition of the use or disclosure the trade secret;
- Prohibition of the production, offering, marketing or use of goods – subject to infringement, the import, export as well as the storage of these goods for those purposes;
- Destruction of all or part of any documents, objects, materials, substances or electronic files containing or embodying the trade secret or, where appropriate, deliver up to the applicant;
- Prohibition of offering or providing services that are favorably influenced to significant extent by trade secrets, which are unlawfully acquired, used or disclosed.
The full version of Protection of the Trade Secret Act can be accessed here.
If you have any questions about the application of the Act, or if you would like to seek for a protection of your trade secrets, we will be happy to assist you – please contact us.