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Intellectual Property and Commercial Court


2014 Min Ying Shang Zi No. 1

Decision No. 2014 Min Ying Shang Zi No. 1
Date November 27, 2014
Decision Highlight

The so-called “secretive nature” or “novelty” mean that the information remains generally unknown by others in the same business. If the information is readily available or easily accessible by unauthorized individuals or entities, it is not the subject matter of a trade secret. As a result, determination of secrecy is based on the industry standards. That is to say, the information maintains its secretive nature only if the information cannot be generally known (either by the public, or, more importantly, by other persons in the industry). On the other hand, if the information is generally known or easily accessible by the public, it does not meet the “secretive nature”. The concept of novelty in the trade secret is different from the novelty in patent law. The “absolute novelty” in Article 22, Paragraph 1 of the Patent Act means that the invention was not disclosed in a printed publication prior to the filing of the patent application; the invention was not publicly exploited prior to the filing of the patent application; or the invention was not publicly known prior to the filing of the patent application. Unlike the Patent Act, the trade secret act merely requires relative novelty. In other words, the trade secret meets the “novelty” requirements if it is not known to persons generally involved in the information of this type.


Secretive Nature, Novelty

Relevant statutes Article 2 of the Trade Secrets Act
  • Release Date:2020-11-13
  • Update:2020-12-07