Where an invention or development does not qualify or is not suited for patent protection, the invention or development should be held as a trade secret. Unlike a patent, a trade secret cannot be publicly disclosed. If it is, then, by definition, it is no longer a trade secret.
With trade secrets, unlike patents, there is no application for registration that must be filed, and no governmental body issues any acknowledgement of the existence of a trade secret. Trade secrets do not expire after a specified amount of time. Instead, a trade secret theoretically can last forever, provided its secrecy is maintained.
Our Trade Secret Law protects only information in the field of technology and/or business that is not known by the public and has economic values as it is useful in business activities, and the confidentiality of which is maintained by its owner.
Information shall be secret (confidential) if such information is only known by a certain people or such information is not known by the public in general.
Information shall be deemed to have economic values if the confidentiality of the information can be used to run commercial activities or business or can improve the benefit economically.
The confidentiality of information shall be deemed to be maintained if the owner or the parties that control the information have taken necessary and appropriate efforts.
Trade Secret shall include methods of production, methods of processing (preparation), sales methods, distribution methods, consumer profiles, advertising strategies, lists of suppliers and clients, manufacturing process or other information in the field of technology and/or business.
The owner of Trade Secret shall have the rights:
to personally use his/her trade secret;
to grant a license to or to prohibit other parties to use his/her Trade Secret or to disclose the Trade Secret to any third party for commercial purposes.
Infringement of a trade secret occurs when one deliberately discloses the trade secret or breaks the agreement, or the obligation, either written or not, to maintain the confidentiality of the said trade secret (breach of contract and breach of confidence). An infringement also occurs if one obtains or possesses the trade secret in a manner that is contrary to the prevailing laws and regulations.
However, reverse engineering of a product that is produced from the use of the trade secret of another person and is solely conducted for the interest of making further development of relevant products shall not be deemed as a trade secret infringement.
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