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Thu 5 October 2023 Trade Secrets

Legal advice on protecting trade secrets

Trade secrets are among the most important assets for most businesses. We advise corporate clients on the best way to legally protect critical business assets, we draft and advise on the documents and policies needed and where your valuable trade secrets are stolen, misused or breached, we can help you take the right steps to quickly enforce your legal rights.

What’s the legal definition of a trade secret?

Historically there was no statutory definition but since 2018, the Trade Secrets Regulations apply which supplement longstanding case law where rights have been enforced by bringing breach of confidence claims. The definition in the Regulations is wide and has 3 key elements which are :-

As is obvious from the above, it is essential that to be able to legally enforce rights to highly confidential information, a business must first have taken adequate steps to protect it. In legal terms, the most obvious ways to do this legally are by having well drafted employment contracts, confidentiality policies and non-disclosure agreements. There are also practical steps such as access and information security. 

Examples of trade secrets

Much depends on the type of business you have. Specific assets which might be considered trade secrets can vary from one company to another. Common examples include :-

Taking action for infringement – what remedies are available?

The Trade Secrets Regulations set out remedies available for misappropriation and misuse. The general remedies were already available in common law claims (injunctions and claims for damages). The Regulations do enhance and set out specific remedies where the misuse of trade secrets has led directly to products being produced which rival or copy products protected by Trade Secrets law. So, in particular the court may order :-

Summary and ways to protect your business

If you need advice on how to protect your business critical company information amd assets or need experienced lawyers to draft, review or advise on contracts and policies to protect your key trade secrets, please do get in contact.

 


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