Trade secrets (know-how)

Trade secrets (know-how) are recognized as objects of intellectual property (results of intellectual activity).

Information constituting a trade secret (know-how) is protected under the regime of commercial secrecy, if:

  • it is not generally known among, or there is no free access to for the third parties that normally deal with the kind of information in question,
  • it derives independent commercial value to its owner from not being known to third persons,
  • it is not the object of exclusive rights to the results of intellectual activity,
  • it does not belong to a state secret under the established procedure.

The regime of commercial secrecy is not deemed to have been established, unless the list and composition of the information constituting commercial secret is determined, and after the adoption by the person, legally possessing l such information, of the set of measures, that are necessary for esurience of its confidentiality

The owner of a trade secret (know-how) may transfer to a third person all or part of the information that constitutes the trade secret under a contract.

A person, legally possessing a trade secret (know-how), has the right to protect the trade secret from being used by others without his/her consent. Trade secrets are protected without any procedural formalities (registration, acquisition of a certificate, etc.). Consequently, a trade secret can be protected as long as the above requirements of secrecy are met.

The person, legally possessing a trade secret (know-how) is entitled to demand that the person illegally using the trade secret to stop such useimmediately and also may use other remedies available under applicable law.

In case of unlawful acquisition of the information constituting trade secret, or its unlawful use or disclosure, natural or legal persons, state authorities and their officials must:

  • cease their activities as to the unlawful acquisition, use or disclosure of the information constituting trade secret;
  • repair damages (including lost profits) caused to the owner of trade secret as a result of the unlawful acquisition, use or disclosure of the information constituting trade secret.

The counterparty that under the civil law contract fails to meet the obligation to preserve confidentiality of the information which is trade secret is obliged to compensate the owner of trade secret for damages (including lost profits), unless otherwise provided in the contract.

State authorities and other persons, who acquired access to trade secrets by the request, are responsible for disclosure of this information to the owner thereof, as well as for the unlawful use of the information constituting trade secret by persons, who became aware of the information due to the performance of their official duties.