Trade Secrets: How to Protect Your Business From Theft and Cyberattacks
The Firm recently hosted a webinar in which our global trade secrets lawyers, joined by industry professionals, provided tips for protecting trade secrets from today's threats.
Because trade secrets are significant assets for many businesses, robust governance systems and reasonable measures, including appropriate and effective procedures and policies, must be implemented to protect them.
- Prevention is better than cure: once a trade secret is disclosed, particularly in an unauthorised manner, it risks losing its value and trade secret status entirely. Before investing in or collaborating with a company, third parties such as business partners and investors are increasingly inquiring about the protective measures that are in place.
- The legal framework requires the implementation as early as possible of "reasonable measures" designed to identify any violation. These measures must also be tailored to the concerned business's needs and industry sector, but at the same time, some information must be shared and made accessible remotely to trusted persons to enable the business to operate.
- The measures must be tested regularly to check efficiency, and training should be provided to all employees and business partners.
- Time is of the essence when a data breach or trade secret violation occurs. Businesses must have in place incident response plans that address how a breach may be contained and tracked. Such plans should, amongst other things, contain an escalation procedure, assign responsibilities to management, and include information on potential notification obligations to regulators (in case of data breach) or to the holder of the trade secret. The goal is to mitigate risk and negative consequences for the company.
- Overall, businesses must be able to demonstrate having implemented "reasonable measures" to protect trade secrets, as this is now a requirement under EU, UK and U.S. legislation. Courts are increasingly examining such protective framework and measures before issuing any interim or final orders and injunctions.
- Marta Delgado Echevarría, Partner, Antitrust & Competition Law, Madrid
- Thomas Bouvet, Partner, Intellectual Property, Paris
- Rebecca Swindells, Partner, Intellectual Property, London
- Dr. Jörg Hladjk, Partner, Cybersecurity, Privacy & Data Protection, Brussels
- Frédéric Le Mauff, Senior Corporate IP Counsel, bioMérieux, Lyon, France
- Lorenzo Grillo, Managing Director, Alvarez & Marsal, London
Click below to watch a recording of the webinar.