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How the new Business Secrets Law affects

On March 13, 2019, Law 1/2019 on Business Secrets came into force, which is a transposition of Directive (EU) 2016/943 that refers to commercial secrets.

This regulation establishes the definition of business secret as "any information or knowledge, including technological, scientific, industrial, commercial, organizational or financial" that meets a series of conditions such as: not having been disclosed, not being accessible, having a business value actual or potential and have been subject to reasonable measures by the owner to keep it secret.

Thus, the lists of customers and suppliers, the methods of manufacturing products and services, the prices of purchases from suppliers, etc. are framed within the scope of protection of business secrets.

For a company to defend its business secrets based on this law it is necessary that the company has provided reasonable measures to keep it secret, for this they must identify which secrets they want to protect and design a specific plan that proves what measures they have taken in order to protect them. This is an essential requirement for a company to be able to defend itself against illegal practices.

Business secrets are one of the most important intangible assets for companies because they are part of their business strategy and are a key element of differentiation and competitiveness. Until now, the existing legal protection was quite limited and only applied when there were contracts, generally confidentiality, that dealt with this matter. Now, the legal security of companies and their most precious assets is being reinforced and it will be possible to act with more agility against piracy, crime and the illegal use of the efforts of the other.

Legal actions may be taken against the offender within a period of 3 years from the knowledge of the illegal act or violation of business secrecy, civil actions with precautionary measures may be initiated in the Commercial Courts and in such trials it will not be possible disclose confidential information, even after the judicial process is over.

A new path of protection is opened for companies, but for this law to be applied in our company it is necessary for the company to have a proactive attitude by implementing those security measures that are necessary to have adequate protection.

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