Trade Secrets

In an economy where competitiveness is determined by technical and commercial know-how, organisations use different mechanisms to protect and exploit these skills. While it is common to use intellectual property rights such as patents, designs, trademarks or intellectual property for this purpose, many organisations choose to keep them secret.

In response to the risks associated with the transmission and access to knowledge and trade secrets in companies by employees, suppliers, partners or customers, Law 1/2019 on Trade Secrets, which adopted Directive 2016/943 on the protection of Trade Secrets into Spanish law, came into force in 2019.

The new regulations define trade secrets as intangible assets, consisting of any information or knowledge, including technological, scientific, industrial, commercial or organisational information or knowledge, which is secret (unknown or difficult to access), of corporate value and for which reasonable measures have been established to keep it secret. Thus, the owners of the secret information that meets these requirements will be able to avail themselves of judicial protection mechanisms in the event of unlawful conduct by third parties.

In order to take advantage of these mechanisms in optimal conditions, it is important that every organisation, regardless of its size, defines and implements a programme for the protection of its confidential information, which includes technical, operational and legal measures. To this end, a new specific consultancy line, Know-How Diagnosis, has been developed by PONTI, based on our experience in protecting intangible assets.

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