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French law has now strong statutes protecting business secrecy, and complies with the 2016 European Directive. But how can you protect a secret?

Information is a particularly vulnerable asset since its knowledge by a third party is irreversible. Once disclosed, the previously confidential information loses all its value and it is very difficult to assess the amount of damage suffered by its holder.

Therefore, rather than repairing the disclosure, it is more a question of preventing it. To effectively protect business secrets, the drafters of the Directive have therefore designed this text as a preventive weapon intended to deter anyone from disclosing business secrets.

The Directive, for jurisdictional reasons, has only provided for an arsenal of measures at the civil level. Thus, the courts may order the discloser to compensate for the damage suffered by the holder of the secret, but this compensation is not punitive in nature. In other words, the assessment of damages must include unfair gains made by the discloser as well as the loss of income of the holder of the secret, but the amount must never go beyond this and become a punishment.

The majority of French lawmakers would have liked the legislator to seize the opportunity given by the Directive to introduce a criminal aspect to deter the disclosure of a protected secret. In fact, this path was not chosen; the transposition of June 14, 2018 remains fundamentally within the scope of civil law, providing only for a right to compensation.

It is obvious that the judicial procedures initiated on a business secret must be carefully handled; publicizing the debates would immediately end any form of secrecy.

In addition to restricting access to hearings and exhibits, the obligations of the Directive regarding procedural matters include, for example, the obligation of confidentiality. The judge may, at the request of a party, classify certain information as confidential. Parties, lawyers, court staff, experts and witnesses will then be bound by the strictest confidentiality regarding this information, until the judge removes its classification as a business secret.

As another example, all statements relating to business secrets must be removed from any judgement that is made public.

The ALATIS lawyers and consultants are on hand to assist you in the development of your intellectual property strategy, you may contact them at

See also:

What is business secrecy?

Protection strategy: register your intellectual property rights or keep the secret?

Published on January 6 2019 by ALATIS IP.

NEOVIAQ IP / ICT Solutions sàrl

Weiswampach - Luxembourg

Calysta NV

Diegem - Belgium

Masnad Law Firm

Kabul - Afghanistan

Brands Care

Istanbul - Turkey

OMC Abogados & Consultores

Lima - Peru

M/s Clues & Colleague

Thimphu - Bhutan

Mikijelj Jankovic & Bogdanovic

Belgrade - Serbia

Santamarina y Steta

Mexico City - Mexico

Danubia Patent & Law Office LLC

Budapest - Hungary

Crane IP Law Firm

Kyiv - Ukraine

Dr. D. Graeser Ltd

Herzelia Pituach - Israel

Mete Mercan Patent Ltd.

Bursa - Turkey

Spoor & Fisher

Pretoria - South Africa

Estrategia Juridica

Bogota - Colombia

Agency of intellectual property "INTELS"

Moscow - Russian Federation

Hiroe and Associates Patent Professional Corporation

500-8368 - Gifu - Japan

R. Kalashyan & Partners LLC

Yerevan - Armenia

Codex & Co. Intellectual Property

Lahore - Pakistan

YOU ME Patent & Law Firm

Seoul - South Korea

Smart IP Law Associates

Dhaka , Bangladesh - Bangladesh

J. Ponce Law

Makati CIty - Philippines

Knightsbridge Patent Attorneys

MELBOURNE - Australia

Novopatent International Service, S.C.

Cuernavaca - Mexico

F.A. Garrick & Co

Lagos - Nigeria

TreeTops & Associates

Dar es Salaam - Tanzania

Dipl. Eng. Kostadin Tahtadjiev - IP agency Patent and Trademark Attorneys

Sofia - Bulgaria

Markides, Markides & Co., LLC

Nicosia - Cyprus

DCLaw - Litigation and Intellectual Property Attorneys in Metro Manila, PH

Makati, Metro Manila - Philippines

Alyafi IP GrouP

Beirut - Lebanon

Akkum, Akkum & Associates LLP

Yaounde - Cameroon


Eindhoven - Netherlands

Betita Cabilao Casuela Sarmiento

Manila - Philippines

Hammond & Associates

Bucharest - Romania

Petosevic Group

Belgrade - Serbia

Vemma Consult Attorneys

Dar es Salaam - Tanzania

SPI Americas

Bogotá - Colombia

Johansson & Langlois

Santiago - Chile

W3IP Law Pty Ltd

Southport - Australia

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

Manila - Philippines


Ulaanbaatar - Mongolia

Destek Patent - Your IP partner in Turkey

Istanbul - Turkey

Scanlen & Holderness

Harare - Zimbabwe

Beutler Künzi Stutz AG

Bern - Switzerland

KTA Advocates

Kampala - Uganda

Luis Elias & Asociados

Caracas - Venezuela

IP Moment Services

New Delhi - India

Cengiz & Opak Law Office

Istanbul - Turkey

V&A Law Villaraza and Angangco

Taguig, Manila - Philippines

Zorin Law Office

Moscow - Russian Federation

Castillo Grau

Bogotá, D.C. - Colombia

Vilage Brazil Intellectual Property

São José do Rio Preto-SP - Brazil


New Delhi - India

IPNG Consultants Ltd

Hanoi - Vietnam

Producta Ltd

Zagreb - Croatia

Ella Cheong LLC

Singapore - Singapore

MarkMirror Intellectual Property Services

Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Cajigas & Co.

Panama City - Panama

InPatent Professionals LLP

Delhi - India

Vellani & Vellani

Karachi - Pakistan

Oriti Patents - Franco Oriti

Lugano - Switzerland

DC Lawyers - Sociedade de Advogados, RL.

Luanda - Angola

Ryong-San & Co. Patent and Trademark

Pyongyang - North Korea

WizeCounzel Law Firm

Lagos - Nigeria

Sonoda & Kobayashi Intellectual Property Law

Tokyo - Japan


Mexico City - Mexico

Solar Law Associates

Bhaktapur - Nepal

BPV TAX & IP ATTORNEY Democratic Republic of CONGO Lawfirm

Kinshasa - Democratic Republic of Congo

Pintas Consulting Group Sdn Bhd

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia

Cabinet Lionel Vial - Saclay IP

Orsay - France

Gonzalez Villalobos International

Caracas - Venezuela

Shahid & Alliance, Intellectual Property Law Services, Bangladesh

Dhaka - Bangladesh

IP Villar

Valencia - Spain

Pavlovych and Co.

Kyiv - Ukraine

Orbis IP & Law

Bursa - Turkey

Deep & Far Attorneys-at-law

Taipei - Taiwan

Calderon & De La Sierra

Mexico City - Mexico

IPSOL Intellectual Property Agency Limited

Macau - Macau

Eagar & Associates

Southport - Australia

Schurman Advocaten N.V.

Paramaribo - Suriname

Lexgoal IP Law Office

Beijing - China

International Law Company Kodex

Kiev - Ukraine

LOVEN Patents & Trademarks

Lincoln - United Kingdom

Grischenko & Partners IP

Kyiv - Ukraine

Johnson Bryant

Lagos - Nigeria

Judex Law Firm

Pristina - Kosovo

Switch Legal

Collingwood - Australia

Henry, Samuelson & Co

Douala - Cameroon

Chandrakant M. Joshi, Indian Patent & Trademark Attorneys

Mumbai - India

Patentna pisarna d.o.o.

Ljubljana - Slovenia

Am Badar & Partners

Jakarta - Indonesia

Bufete Mejia & Asociados

San Pedro Sula - Honduras

InnoCapture Consulting Services Pvt. Ltd.

Noida - India

Goytia & Associates

Buenos Aires - Argentina

PWC Legal

Luxembourg - Luxembourg

IP March

Beijing - China

JarryIP Intellectual Property Boutique

Santiago - Chile

Lext Intellectual Property

Niteroi - Brazil


Saint-Petersburg - Russian Federation

Kancelaria Patentowa W.Sojka M.Wroblewski s.c.

Lodz - Poland

Borsam Intellectual Property

Shenzhen - China


Moscow - Russian Federation

SCP Global Africa IP

Yaoundé - Cameroon


Paris - France

Estudio Colmenares & Asociados

Lima - Peru

Dimitri Russo S.R.L.

BARI - Italy

Agency of Patent Attorneys KIM & KIM

Bishkek - Kyrgyzstan


Reykjavík - Iceland

J. Varbanov & partners

Sofia - Bulgaria

Ratza & Ratza

Bucharest - Romania

Sipi Law Associates

Kampala - Uganda

Irin Patent Co.

Sofia - Bulgaria

O'Conor & Power

Buenos Aires - Argentina

Stillwaters Law Firm

Lagos - Nigeria

IP Boutique

Bucharest - Romania

Adiel Solicitors

Ogudu-Lagos - Nigeria


Rotterdam - Netherlands

Z. Manoukian & Partners LLC Patent Office

Yerevan - Armenia

Limited Liability Company

Moscow - Russian Federation

David do Nascimento Advogados Associados

São Paulo - Brazil

Cerberus IP

London - United Kingdom


Madrid - Spain

Dentons Muñoz Zacapa

Tegucigalpa - Honduras

MacMillan's Intellectual Property Attorneys Ltd

Mahe - Seychelles

Mikadze Gegetchkori Taktakishvili (MGT)

Tbilisi - Georgia

Brookes IP

Tunbridge Wells - United Kingdom

Cabinet Isis

Yaounde - Cameroon

D&N International

Hanoi - Vietnam

JMB Davis Ben-David

Jerusalem - Israel

Cita Citrawinda Noerhadi & Associates

Jakarta - Indonesia

Infini Juridique

New Dehli - India

Helios IP

Tampa - United States of America

Maschietto Maggiore Besseghini

Milano - Italy

Moeller IP

Buenos Aires - Argentina

Cabinet Achour | IP

Tunis - Tunisia

Wildgen SA

Luxembourg - Luxembourg

Levi & Spencer

Festac Town,Lagos, - Nigeria

Jeong, Kim & Lee IP Law Firm

Seoul - South Korea

Central LAW Guatemala

Guatemala - Guatemala

IntellectPol (Intellectual Property - EU, Poland)

Kutno - Poland

Caspian Legal Center

Baku - Azerbaijan

China Sunbow Law Firm

Shanghai - China

Christopher & Lee Ong

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia

Cho and Partners

Seoul - South Korea

International Law & Corporate Services (Pty) Ltd

Victoria - Seychelles

Mashabela IP Attorneys

Hatfield,Pretoria - South Africa

Fairbridges Wertheim Becker

Cape Town - South Africa

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