Whenever there is violation of or justified fear that another party may cause serious and difficult-to-repair harm to an industrial property right or a trade secret right, the court may, at request of the interested party, order appropriate measures to prevent any imminent violation or to prohibit continuation of the violation.
In case of trade secrets, the court shall take in consideration, notably, the value of the secret or other specific characteristics of the secret, the measures taken in order to protect it, the behavior of the infringer, the impact of the illegal use or disclosure, as well as the legitimate interests of the parties, third parties and public interest and the safeguard of fundamental rights. The judicial decision may impose to the infringer:
- The termination or, depending on the case, the prohibition of use or disclosure of the trade secret
- The prohibition of producing, offering, placing on the market or use of the products in infraction, or the importation, exportation and storage of products in infraction to such purposes
Whoever illegally violates trade secret rights of another person with intent or by negligence is obliged to pay a compensation to the injured party for the damages resulting from the violation.
In determining the amount of compensation for losses and damages, the court will take into account the profit obtained by the infringer and the resulting damages and lost profits suffered by the injured party. The costs borne with the protection of the right in question and the investigation and termination of the harmful conduct shall also be taken in consideration, as well as personal injury.
If it is impossible to quantify the losses effectively suffered by the injured party, the court may, provided this is not opposed by the injured party, alternatively define a fixed amount with recourse to equity that is based, as a minimum value, on the remuneration that the injured party would have received if the infringer had requested authorization to use the industrial property rights in question and the costs borne with the protection of the industrial property right and the investigation and termination of the harmful conduct.
The unlawful acquisition, use or disclosure of trade secrets (ie, without the consent of the trade secret holder) is punishable with a fine between €5,000 and €100,000 if the infringer is a legal person, and from €1,000 up to €30,000 if the infringer is a natural person.
Trade secret violation or undue use may also be criminally punished with imprisonment up to 1 year or a fine.