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Unlawful Secret Agreements

Trade secrets are another form of appropriation of intangible assets that largely complement the protection of intellectual property, the difference being that, in the first case, exclusivity of rights is not granted. Legal protection against misappropriation of trade secrets improves the conditions for companies and researchers to discover, develop, exchange and use information and knowledge. It is therefore essential for innovation performance. The proposal is another cornerstone of the “empowerment framework” defined by the IPR strategy in 2011 to achieve its objectives. Business secrets complement intellectual property (IR) rights. They are widely used in the creative process that leads to innovation and the creation of intellectual property rights. For example, before an invention is patented, the inventor treats it as a secret, because if it is known to all, the invention loses the necessary requirement of novelty. As a result, trade secrets are the source of patents (new inventions), copyrights (a new novel or song), trademarks (a brand new product) and designs (a new vehicle model). No no.

The holder of a trade secret does not have the exclusive right to establish it. It cannot prevent competitors from copying and using the same solutions – reverse engineering (the process of discovering the technological principles of a device, object or system by analyzing its structure, function and operation) is entirely legitimate. Trade secrets are only protected by law in cases where a person has illegally obtained confidential information (. B, for example, by espionage, theft or corruption). In principle, the 159 member countries of the World Trade Organization are bound by the Membership Agreement (The Agreement on Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights That Affect Trade), which contains a definition of trade secrets. Under this agreement, individuals and corporations have the opportunity to prevent the disclosure, acquired or exploited of trade secrets under their control by others, without their consent, in a manner that runs counter to honest business practices. Trade secrets are also used for information of commercial value that is not protected against intellectual property, but which require investment and/or research and which are important for innovation (a new business idea, a perfume recipe or a recipe for a food product). The consultation showed that 73% of SMEs who responded felt that legal protection against the misuse of trade secrets should be addressed at EU level.

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