For the first time, the president of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) is conducting antimonopoly proceedings concerning competition-restricting agreements not only concerning businesses, but also persons managing them. This is a milestone in the history of enforcement of competition law in Poland. An outline of the rules regarding liability of persons managing a business and business enterprise in the context of prohibited agreements follows.
An amendment to the Polish Unfair Competition Act extends the legal protection given to trade secrets. But information known to or easily attainable for people in a particular sector or familiar with a particular subject will not constitute trade secrets even if the information is not disclosed to the general public. Labelling it “confidential” might not be sufficient.
Once the Unfair Competition Act is amended, will a nondisclosure obligation have to be provided for explicitly in an employment contract when an employee leaves?
Protection of confidential information is not absolute and is subject to limitations, for instance where there is a public interest. Subject to certain conditions, a person who has a nondisclosure obligation may lawfully use the entrusted information despite the confidentiality obligation. At the moment there is no all-embracing regulation on this issue, but this may change soon.
As information technology and the knowledge-based economy develop, trade secrets are increasing in importance. At the same time, theft of trade secrets and losses for the economy due to this problem are increasing. In recent years legislators have taken measures to modernise and strengthen the protection of trade secrets.
The recent introduction into the Polish legal system of the possibility of applying for disclosure of evidence in the other party’s possession in cases alleging antitrust violations has stirred a debate over the treatment of evidence in Polish civil procedure. Should parties be given a broader right to demand production of evidence by the other side?