Many businesses are still afraid of their trade secrets being compromised, so they need to take protective measures. However, the current law does not specifically mention the concept of “registration for protection of trade secrets”. This article will provide 4 key points about trade secret protection.
1. What is a trade secret?
Trade secrets are information obtained from financial and intellectual investment activities, which have not been disclosed and are likely to be used in business.
2. Grounds for establishing trade secrets
Bases for establishing industrial property rights to trade secrets are established on the basis of lawfully obtaining trade secrets and carrying out the security of such trade secrets.
3. General conditions with trade secrets protection
To be considered a trade secret, information must meet quite difficult conditions.
In particular, the prerequisite is that the protected information is:
“1. Not common sense and not easily acquired;
- When used in business, it gives the holder of a trade secret an advantage over a person who does not hold or does not use such trade secret;
- To be secured by the owner by the necessary measures so that such trade secrets are not exposed and not easily accessible.”
(Article 84 of the Law on Intellectual Property 2005, amended and supplemented 2022)
Therefore, ownership of a trade secret is established based on the lawful possession of a trade secret and the implementation of the security of that trade secret.
4. Form of protection for trade secrets
Business secrets can be protected in 02 forms, which are forms of automatic protection without registration and protection through patent registration.
With the form of automatic protection without registration
Different from trademarks, inventions, or geographical indications, industrial property rights to trade secrets are automatically established without the need to register with the competent authority. Because it is not registered, enterprises do not need to publish trade secret information, trade secrets are protected indefinitely until they are made public, which helps businesses feel somewhat more secure in protecting their secrets.
With the form of protection through patent registration
Enterprises can register in the form of patents because there are no regulations for the registration of trade secret protection. The term of protection for an invention is 20 years for the life cycle of an enterprise. At the end of these 20 years, trade secrets – which are now registered inventions of the business, will be publicized. The limitation of this approach is that after the above deadline, businesses can no longer grasp their business advantages and market competitiveness.
The Law on Intellectual Property 2005, amended and supplemented 2022 also contains provisions for the protection of trade secrets, including the rights of owners as well as methods of resolving infringements. However, businesses need to have ways to protect themselves against the risk of being easily compromised in the digital age.