Protecting Trade Secrets
PROTECTING TRADE SECRETS
To obtain intellectual property rights, certain creation/invention/mark has to be published. Nevertheless, the above does not apply to trade secrets. Unlike the other intellectual property rights that require disclosure in order to be protected, trade secrets require confidentiality in order to gain protection.
Article 1 No. 1 Law No. 30 of Trade Secrets Law defines Trade Secrets as:
“information in the field of technology and/or business that is not known by the public and has economic value as it is useful in business activities, and the confidentiality of which is maintained by its owner.”
Secret recipe of fried chicken, confidential method that can boost goods manufacturing, or other confidential information that has economic value may be protected as trade secrets. It is as stated within Article 2 of Trade Secrets Law which stipulates the scope of protection of Trade Secrets:
“The scope of protection on Trade Secrets shall include:
- methods of production;
- methods of processing (preparation);
- methods of selling; or
- other information in the field of technology and/or business that has economic value and is not known by the public in general.”
As mentioned within the first paragraph, trade secrets require confidentiality in order to gain protection. Article 3 of Trade Secrets Law explains further regarding the ‘confidentiality’ in the means of protecting a trade secret:
- Trade secret may get a protection if the information is a secret, has economic value and duly kept as a secret;
- An information is deemed as a secret if the information is only known by certain party or not publicly known;
- An information has economic value if the secrecy of the information may be used to perform activity or business which has a commercial nature and may enhance economic profit;
- An information is deemed to be kept as a secret if the owner or the parties who own it has/have been doing appropriate measures.
Therefore, publication or registration is not necessary in order to protect a trade secret. As long as its secrecy is protected by doing appropriate measures such as by utilizing non-disclosure agreement or by applying a certain internal regulation in regards of the secrecy of a ‘secret formula’, thus it is already protected.