Know-how and trade secret protection
We know the value of trade secrets for your business. A well-thought-out protection concept for assets that cannot be secured by registered IP rights can be business-critical for your company. We advise you on the establishment of appropriate protective measures and in all disputes concerning the loss of business secrets in and out of court.
Trade secrets as assets
In times of disruptive technologies and innovations classical IP rights such as patents are not always sufficient. The legal protection of secrets can make the difference for those "crown jewels" of your company which cannot be protected by classical IP rights. These include not only technical know-how, but also commercial knowledge such as calculation bases, customer lists, process and manufacturing know-how, recipes, business strategies and much more. In other words: any knowledge and that can help you to gain a competitive advantage.
The innovative strength of companies can be improved by an optimal alignment of registered IP rights and the protection of know-how and other business secrets. We regard intellectual property as a valuable asset in transactions, competition and litigation and we know how companies can optimise the protection of their trade secrets.
Effective protection concepts
Those who properly shield their know-how and sensitive information can secure competitive advantages. The still young German Business Secrets Act, which is based on the corresponding EU directive, requires "appropriate protective measures" if a company wants to invoke secrecy protection in court. What is meant by this is a concept that protects the identified sensitive information within the company from internal and external access - not only factually, e.g. by means of access restrictions, but also and above all legally. This also includes individual and concrete confidentiality agreements. We have extensive experience in developing tailor-made protection concepts to effectively safeguard business and trade secrets.
Identification and classification of know-how and other trade secrets
One challenge for information management in a company is to independently evaluate and classify company secrets. We help to identify and evaluate the valuable information of a company and to classify it into protection classes.
Development of protection concepts
Once the valuable assets have been identified and delimited, employee authorisations for access to these secrets (and not only at IT level) must be defined. Furthermore, business partners and own personnel must be sensitised and trained in handling sensitive information that falls under the concept of a trade secret as defined by law. Here we support them in all internal processes.
Drafting of contracts
Against the background of harmonised EU law, the examination of existing and the drafting of new contracts with employees, service providers, partners and customers (confidentiality agreements) is also indispensable to ensure effective protection of know-how.
The implementation of the requirements of the EU directive is not a short-term project. It requires a sensitisation of the employees, but at the same time it offers the opportunity to deepen the cooperation between legal and compliance departments with the specialist departments and thus effectively protect secrets. The rule is: What the competitor does not know, he cannot copy.
Businesses will have to monitor closely that a system of protection that meets EU requirements is in place: Only those who are aware of the leakage of know-how to third parties and, if necessary, take legal action against it will be able to defend the company's interests effectively. This includes monitoring, warning and, if necessary, taking legal action against competitors who have seized information from your company. The German Business Secrets Act provides for effective remedies such as the destruction of products based on third party business secrets. In the worst case of know-how leakage, we will assist you in gathering evidence and represent you before the civil and labour courts. We have also many years of experience in dealing with law enforcement agencies that take action against secret theft.