The concept of trade secret stands for a wide range of information, which results in a competitive advantage for the companies. The companies rely on the latest technology, which enable them to collect and process massive quantities of data. This opens them to a huge risk for a potential misuse of their information by third parties that can result in catastrophic consequences for their business.
Non-disclosure agreement presents a useful tool used widely by the companies in order to protect their trade secrets before disclosing them to the third parties for the purposes of joint collaboration. In order to avoid misunderstandings it is important to define the purpose and the object of the disclosure along with other rights and obligations of the parties accordingly.
The purpose of the trade secret protection is the protection of cooperation and sharing and the information and knowledge between companies. Therefore, harmonisation of legal regulation on trade secrets within state members of the European Union presents an important step forward. Adoption of the Directive (EU) 2016/943 and Slovenian law on trade secrets shall enable companies to secure unauthorised use and disclosure of their trade secrets more easily, when conducting business within Slovenia and European Union. Nevertheless, regardless of the new legislation, it is fair to say that the court shall be essential for providing relevant interpretation and implementation of the provisions in practice.
In order to ensure a comprehensive protection of trade secrets, in addition to the conclusion of non-disclosure agreements, companies should consider adopting and implementing relevant organisational and technical safety measures that shall prevent unauthorised disclosure of their trade secrets in practice.