Trade Secrets

The interaction between patent law and trade secret

While innovation must be protected by intellectual property, the intellectual property lawyer must also have in-depth knowledge of the legislation on trade secret.

The protection of business secrets, which includes know-how, is closely linked to intellectual property, particularly patents.

Secrecy may therefore be preferred to a patent, because it avoids disclosure of the invention.

However, if it is to be preserved appropriately, secrecy must be protected by technical measures (passwords, for example) and legal measures (careful drafting of clauses in employment contracts or confidentiality agreements known as "NDAs").

Furthermore, it will also be important to protect against potential infringements, especially by engaging with a specialized lawyer and preparing staff for potential seizures that could compromise secrecy (seizure for infringement and "saisie 145"). It will also be necessary to request the maintenance of the sequestrations that will have been applied during these seizures within the month following them.

The role of the trade secret attorney

The role of a trade secrets lawyer is to advise and represent clients in matters relating to the protection of confidential information. They can help companies, organisations and individuals develop strategies to protect their confidential data.

The lawyer may also assist clients in negotiating and drafting confidentiality agreements and other legal instruments to protect their confidential information. He can also represent clients in litigation relating to business secrecy, including infringement proceedings and litigation relating to breaches of confidentiality.

In addition, the lawyer can help clients assess the potential risks to the confidentiality of their information and put in place compliance programmes to protect against inadvertent leaks of such information. He can also advise clients on the laws and regulations governing business secrecy and on best practices for protecting confidential information.