The first important novelty worth mentioning is the very definition of the concept of trade secret, which must meet all three requirements set out in the adopted act itself, namely: (1) it is a secret that it is not generally known or easily accessible to people within the circles who normally deal with this kind of information in question, (2) has commercial value and (3) in the circumstances, the proprietor of a trade secret has taken reasonable steps to keep it secret. Up until now, as a trade secret has been considered manly data classified as such by a company’s written decision (i.e. a subjective criterion).
The new regulation distinguishes more clearly between lawful and unlawful acquisition, as well as use and disclosure of trade secret. As far as judicial protection is concerned, legal claims that the proprietor of a trade secret may file against the infringer, as well as the right to compensation for damages under general rules, are now defined. Civil penalty is also foreseen, i.e. up to 200% increased compensation for the use of a trade secret if the right under this law was violated intentionally or through gross negligence. According to the new regulation, the court may also consider other specific circumstances, such as, for example, measures adopted for the mere protection of a trade secret in the proceedings of judicial protection.
Therefore, when deciding on the merits of the legal claim, the prior contribution of the proprietor of a trade secret may be taken into account. Moreover, new act contains measures to preserve the confidentiality of trade secret during the court proceedings and provides for exceptions when no legal protection is given to the proprietor of a trade secret. The act also defines the possibility of issuing an interim decision for the immediate cessation of violations.
For more information on Trade Secrets Act, please see: http://www.pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO7758