Innovation and competitiveness by protecting trade secrets
The legislator obliges companies to account for the effectiveness of the measures they take to protect personal data. We use this accountability to organize compliance with other legal and contractual obligations as well.
What is the importance of protecting your trade secrets?
Company management is continuously balancing the use of trade secrets to achieve business objectives and protecting the confidentiality of trade secrets. Managing access to trade secrets determines the company’s innovative and competitive strength.
A company has more company secrets than often thought. A selection: customer and supplier files, overview of strategic partners, manufacturing methods, market research and market strategies, construction plans and employee files. The Trade Secrets Protection Act helps management to manage the confidentiality of trade secrets. This requires the company to document the trade secrets, indicate the value of the secrets to the company and take appropriate and effective control and security measures to ensure the confidentiality of the secrets.
Get started with protection your trade secrets
A further explanation about the protection of trade secrets is elaborated in this fact sheet.
Trade secrets application license
The trade secrets application uses the trust network. A user of the network acquires trade secrets against a revenue-dependent license.
Do you need more information, consultation or otherwise? Please feel free to contact sales or visit our service desk website.
Frequently Asked Questions
The definition of a trade secret from the Trade Secrets Protection Act:
- It must be secret; and
- It has commercial value because it is secret; and
- It is secured to keep secret.
If others make unwanted use of your company secrets, the continuity of your company can be endangered. This reduces the innovation and competitiveness of your company. A trade secret makes your company special and attractive to do business with. This also makes your business secrets attractive to competitors. You can only make use of the Trade Secrets Protection Act if you can demonstrate that you have effectively protected your trade secrets.
Every company has business secrets. There is always information that you do not want to be disclosed outside the company. It takes a thorough evaluation of competitively sensitive know-how to know what your business secrets are. Often, obvious information is also a trade secret, such as your customer base or your strategic plans.
If you don't know what your business secrets are, you won't be able to tell your employees or your partners you let work with your business secrets what your business secrets are. It then becomes difficult to accuse someone of having handled a trade secret carelessly. Documenting the trade secrets in a trade secret register is a first requirement, after which agreements can be made about the sharing of trade secrets.
By documenting trade secrets in the trade secret register, you can prove at a certain point which trade secrets you hold. Merely recording the secret in a register (Excel sheet) is insufficient because the argumentation with any documents, the management and security measures, and the proof of the effective operation of the measures must also be documented. In the Trade Secrets Protection Act, the legislator gives special attention to:
- Entering into agreements with partners regarding access to and use of specific trade secrets;
- Ensuring operation of access mechanisms; and
- Educating employees of the company and its partners about the application of trade secrets, explaining the value of trade secrets to the company, and adhering to access protection measures. It often requires a change in behavior and discipline from employees to deal adequately with company secrets.
Being able to submit the contract agreements and the results of compliance activities during contract management determine the position of the company. The certification and filing of contracts and documents strengthen the legal position of the company.
It requires targeted knowledge and change management for the entire organization. Organizing awareness and knowledge about managing trade secrets is not much different from organizing the protection of personal data. The management of trade secrets and the management of personal data must be given a place in the company culture. Employees and management are aware that loss of business data leads to business continuity risks and failure to adequately protect personal data leads to reputation and sanction risks.
After registration on the MYOBI Trust Network, the company has access to a company-specific learning environment with personal environments for employees. MYOBI makes the trade secret awareness and knowledge program available in this environment. The program supports the company with workshops focused on managing trade secrets. If desired, the company generates proof of effective functioning of awareness and training with the help of tests.
Depending on the risk profile of the trade secret, a measure or a mix of measures is possible. We distinguish policy, contractual, physical and digital measures. The measures must also work and you must regularly determine that the operation is effective.
With measures that are only available on paper, the court may rule that the trade secret is insufficiently protected. It is about the effective operation of the control measures taken.
By selecting a freelancer who is also affiliated with the MYOBI Trust Network, this freelancer has also signed the TTP policy. The self-employed person is also bound by the MYOBI Code of Conduct for the self-employed, in which agreements have been made about the correctness of his company data and knowledge about the safe handling of trade secrets. The self-employed person can confirm annually that he has adhered to the code of conduct. In addition, we advise you to purchase the contract portfolio for self-employed persons with the smart contracting application, so that in addition to a confidentiality agreement, you also conclude a correct assignment agreement to limit your other risks as a client.
Companies that are affiliated with the MYOBI Trust Network share the same mores, the TTP policy. In the event of a dispute, a solution is first sought with Mediation, which can save you a lot of legal costs. It is also easier to conclude contracts with each other via smart contracting.
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