Undoubtedly, the key to success in almost any business is the orderliness of the processes of collecting, processing, using and storing information. All these facilitate proper protection of trade secrets which often constitute main assets of a company. In Ireland, this protection has long been an issue. However, it has been improved by the recent entry into force of the EU Regulation of the same name. It provides for increased penalties for the use or illegal disclosure of a trade secret when its owner has been damaged.
How effective is the new law in protecting commercial information? What methods are provided to protect trade secrets in Ireland? These issues will be addressed in this blog post.
Prior to the entry into force of the EU rules, trade secrets were protected under Irish national law. The pre-existing protections will continue to be applied but the new regime provides for stricter protections for businesses that want to protect information from unauthorized access.
What business owners should do to protect confidential information in Ireland?
First of all, they should take care of its safety and define:
- composition and volume of information constituting a commercial secret;
- documents containing such information on which the stamp “Commercial secret” is put;
- rules for admitting employees to confidential information;
- control of using information constituting a commercial secret;
- mutual obligations by businesses to protect trade secrets in Ireland when concluding agreements.
When registering an employment relationship, the protection of trade secrets in Ireland provides for the following obligations for employees:
- to keep a commercial secret, which becomes known to them in the course of work, and not to disclose it without permission;
- to ensure the safety of trade secrets;
- in the event of an attempt by unauthorized persons to obtain from them information constituting a commercial secret, immediately report the relevant company official;
- not to use commercial secrets to engage in activities that, as a competitive action, may harm company interests;
- in the event of dismissal, transfer everything constituting commercial secrets to the appropriate official.
It is advisable to familiarize employees with the trade secret regime in Ireland and with measures of responsibility for its violation.
Steps for legal protection of trade secrets in Ireland
When a court finds that there has been an illegal acquisition, use, or disclosure of a trade secret, it can take steps, including an injunction against the use or disclosure of a trade secret.
A person who does not comply with the above measures ordered by the court commits an offense and can be prosecuted.
Companies should take appropriate measures and establish procedures to ensure the protection of trade secrets in Ireland, for example, by restricting access to NDA agreements.
Legal experts at IQ Decision UK monitor the latest regulations in the EU, including the protection of trade secrets in Ireland. If you need advice on this matter, or assistance in protecting trade secrets in Ireland we are at your service. We offer a comprehensive consultation and provide assistance in preparing proper employment agreements to help you better protect valuable information.