Trade secret is now protected by a new law!

As of April 5, 2019 there is already a law in force on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria on protection of the trade secret. The adoption of this has brought national legislation in line with European Union law. The law aims to protect traders’ rights over the trade secrets they are using, enabling to bring proceedings before a court in the event of infringement.

The law defines the concept according to which “trade secret” is any commercial information, know–how or technological information that simultaneously meets the following requirements:

  1. It is a secret in such a way that in its entirety or in its exact configuration and combination of elements, it is not generally known or easily accessible for individuals from environments, who usually use this kind of information.
  2. Has a commercial value, because of its secret nature.
  3. The person lawfully in control of control of the trade secret has taken measures to protect the secret.

According to the law subject of infringement are goods, whose design, planning, characteristics, functions, production process or marketing are significantly influenced by  trade secrets, that were unlawfully  acquired, used or disclosed.

Holders of trade secrets dispose of the right to submit a claim against anyone who unlawfully acquired, used or disclosed their trade secret. The court action can be brought within 5 years of the breach.

Traders, who are protecting their trade secrets in court proceedings, are provided the opportunity to ask from the court precautionary measures such as:

  1. Suspension or prohibition of the use or disclosure of the trade secret as a temporary measure.
  2. Prohibition of the production, offering, placing on the market or the use of goods – subject to infringement, importation or export of those goods as well as their storage for these purposes.
  3. Detention by seizure and handover of the goods – subject of the alleged infringement, including when imported from third parties, so as to prevent the placing and movement of the goods on the market; the expropriation and handover of the goods are carried out in respect of the person in whose possession they are, with distraint.
  4. Prohibition of the marketing or provision of the services, that are significantly influenced by trade secrets, that have been acquired, used or disclosed unlawfully.

If the judgment establishes the unlawful acquisition, use or disclosure of a trade secret, the court should order the infringer to pay compensation to the claimant, as well as to impose measures for termination of the infringement and/or destruction of documents containing trade secret.

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