Nieuw op Iusmentis: Legal protection of trade secrets and know-how (in Innovation @

Eindelijk weer eens iets in het Engels:

Trade secret law protects information or know-how that is valuable because of its secrecy. The owner of a trade secret must take reasonable steps to keep it a secret. Misappropriation of trade secrets, including violation of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a tort and sometimes even a criminal act.

Trade secret law or tort law protects valuable business information from misappropriation by others. The main requirement is that the information must be kept a secret by its owner. Any kind of information, ranging from manufacturing know-how, formulas or devices to marketing intelligence can be protected as a trade secret. A misappropriator can be convicted to pay damages or to cease using the trade secret information.

Trade secrets are a form of intellectual property, but trade secret protection does not offer rights comparable to those offered by copyright, patent or trademark laws. In most countries, trade secret misappropriation is regarded as a specific form of unfair competition. Some countries have specific laws on the protection of confidential business information. The TRIPS Agreement requires that countries implement adequate legal protection for “undisclosed information”.

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