On 8 May 2018r. The government adopted a draft law strengthening the protection of entrepreneurs against unfair competition. Thanks to the new legislation, trade secrets, license secrets, technological secrets will be more protected.
The bill increases guarantees for honest entrepreneurs. Under the new provisions, the mere acquisition of a business secret (e.g. by copying documents or electronic data) without the consent of the authorised entrepreneur will constitute a violation of the law. Such an act will be treated as an act of unfair competition, even if there is no disclosure and use of confidential information.
Anyone who discloses or uses business secrets presented in court proceedings or case files – if in such proceedings the court has excluded the hearing from public view – faces criminal liability, even up to two years' imprisonment. Injured entrepreneurs will have additional options before the commercial court to assert their claims and compensate for losses. Today they may only claim damages on general terms, which often does not constitute adequate compensation and does not prevent further acts of unfair competition.
The new regulations will allow compensation to be determined as an equivalent of the royalty payable for the use of the business secret. The court will also be able to set the remuneration that will be due to the owner of the license or technology if the infringement of his rights occurs in the future. This provision is intended to prevent the production and offering of goods created as a result of trade secret infringement and unauthorized use of another company’s know-how.
The possibility of imposing an obligation on dishonest companies to publish convictions in the media will also be a harsh sanction for illegal use of someone else’s technology or logistics. The provisions of the amended act on counteracting unfair competition adjust Polish law to the standards of the EU directive. Thanks to uniform regulations, all entrepreneurs operating in the common market will be able to benefit from the same protection of business secrets.