It could be (departing) employees or vulnerable areas in IT; there are many different ways that business secrets and know-how could end up in the wrong hands. Directive (EU) 2016/943 “on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure” creates the legal framework businesses must observe for both the preventive and repressive protection of their business secrets. This results in numerous employment law questions on which we advise our clients, such as:
- Nondisclosure clauses in employment contracts, NDA’s
- Implementation of confidentiality measures
- Contract wording regarding copyrights, etc.
- Negotiation of shop agreements on IT security tools and IT policies
- Internal investigations, including sanctioning of employees
- Judicial protection of secrets, e.g. cease and desist orders, damages
- Training seminars
Where our work overlaps with other legal areas such as criminal law, we work within our network of experienced legal colleagues, as well as of non-legal advisors such as IT forensics experts. The topics of know-how and business secrets have been discussed regularly in our Client Newsletters as well as in our regularly held Breakfast Club. Our specialists are Dr. Daniel Klösel and Dr. Thilo Mahnhold.