Approach to implementation 

The protection of trade secrets is enshrined in the Czech Civil Code, under which the violation of trade secrets is considered to be an act of unfair competition. According to the legislator, the Czech legal system had been, with minor exceptions, in compliance with the majority of the Trade Secrets Directive (TSD) prior to its transposition. Nevertheless, to fully transpose the Directive some of the injunctions, corrective measures, conditions of application, safeguards and alternative measures had to be integrated into national legislation, in particular in the Act on Enforcement of Industrial Property Rights ("Act on EIP"). The transposition introduced only one additional provision, comprising three subsections, to the Act on EIP.

Stage of legislative process 

The amendment to the Act on Enforcement of Industrial Property Rights transposing the Directive came into force on 28 December 2018.

Timescale for implementation 

The transposition of the Directive into national law was delayed by more than 6 months.

Noteworthy points arising from the legislative changes 

• In case of unlawful acquisition, use or disclosure of a trade secret the authorized person may seek the infringer to refrain from acts infringing/endangering the rights and to remove the consequences of such endangering or infringement. In such case the authorized person may seek:

  •  the infringing/endangering products to be recalled from market,
  • the infringing/endangering products to be permanently removed/destructed;
  • the materials/tools or equipment intended for/used in the course of activities endangering/infringing the rights to be recalled, permanently removed or destructed.

• Alternatively, the court may order (upon the request of infringer) the payment of a pecuniary compensation to the authorized person, namely where the infringer neither knew nor was able to know that his acts constitute an infringement, where the above measures would cause him an inadequate injury and the pecuniary compensation to an authorized person proves to be sufficient.

• The court may award the person whose claim has been satisfied a right to make the judgment public at the costs of the infringer.

• Under the Directive, the duration of the limitation period shall not exceed 6 years. The Czech civil code determines the limitation period to be 3 years.

• The Czech legal system does not explicitly regulates the whistleblowing which is referred to in recital 20 of the Directive. Therefore, there is a certain risk that whistleblowing could be misused as an excuse for the violation of the trade secret.