- What are trade secrets?
According to Article 2 of the Trade Secret Act, "trade secret" means any method, technique, process, formula, program, design, or other information that can be used in the course of production, sales, or operations that can also meet the following three requirements: (1) it is not known to persons generally involved in the information of this type; (2) it has actual or potential economic value due to its secretive nature; and (3) its owner has taken reasonable measures to maintain its secrecy
- What remedies are available if my trade secrets are infringed?
Trade secrets do not need to be registered. A person whose trade secrets have been infringed upon may file a complaint with or seek assistance from the Anti-Counterfeiting Committee of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. A party may also appeal directly to a judicial agency for a remedy.
What legal liability is incurred if infringing another person's trade secret?
The Trade Secret Act provides liability only for civil damages for infringing trade secrets, but such infringement may also constitute the crimes of disclosing professional (occupational) secrets, larceny, misappropriation, or breach of trust under the Criminal Code, or may violate relevant provisions of the Fair Trade Act.
How can disputes between employers and employees over the ownership of trade secrets be avoided?
It is advisable for the two parties to expressly stipulate in the employment contract the nature of the employee's work and the scope of his or her duties during the employment period, to strictly require employees to keep a written record of their work activities in a daily work log, and to have a written agreement expressively stating which party owns the trade secrets.