According to the register of legislative and policy processes pending within the Council of Ministers as at 17 November 2017 (see here), work has begun to draw up a law which would harmonise Polish regulations with the Directive on the protection of undisclosed know-how and trade secrets.

The changes are expected to involve primarily the definition of trade secrets (tajemnica przedsiębiorstwa) and the treatment of certain conduct as their infringements. According to the Directive’s premises, it will be easier to protect confidential know-how in the event of litigation.

The law on interim relief will be amended to contain special regulations applicable solely in unfair competition proceedings involving trade secret infringements.

The Directive will be implemented mainly by amending the Unfair Competition (Combating) Act.

According to the Cabinet, this manner of implementation respects a more than 90-year-old tradition of Polish law whereby unlawful breaches of trade secrets are considered unfair competition. Another fact of importance is that having trade secrets regulated in unfair competition legislation fits squarely into the motives behind the Directive as it emphasises the relevance of trade secrets protection for the development and maintenance of due competition on the market (see Recitals 1, 2 and 28 of the Directive).

In the context of the projected amendments, it would be advisable not to limit the changes to just implementing Directive 2016/943 but consider also other EU solutions for the protection of intellectual property. For example, it would be a great help in the pursuit of trade secret infringement claims if compelled disclosure was available as a claim for the affected party. The owner of a breached secret could then have the court order the infringer to provide information and documents relevant for the claim, such as information about the quantity of goods manufactured and sold as a result of the know-how theft.

But the implementing legislation is yet to be seen as the Cabinet plans to formally endorse the draft in early to mid 2018. The drafting process is in the charge of the Justice Ministry.

 

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Check what we refer to:

  • Directive 2016/943 on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) /link/
  • The Unfair Competition (Combating) Act of 16 April 1993

About the author

Absolwentka prawa, entuzjastka prawa własności intelektualnej, które – jej zdaniem – nie pozwala na nudę i rutynę, ponieważ każdy problem wymaga kreatywnego i indywidualnego podejścia. Sprawy, z którymi spotyka się na co dzień, łączą w sobie aspekty na pozór odległych od siebie dziedzin prawa, techniki i nauki, a to z kolei pozwala na ciągły rozwój zawodowy. Agata lubi wyzwania – dlatego lubi IP. Szczególnie interesuje się problematyką ochrony tajemnicy przedsiębiorstwa oraz znakami towarowymi.