The definition of “Trade secret” in Vietnam means information obtained from activities of financial and/or intellectual investment, which has not yet been disclosed and can be used in business.
Industrial property rights to a trade secret shall be established on the basis of lawful acquirement and confidentiality thereof.
Owner of trade secret in Vietnam means organization or individual that has legally acquired such business secret and keep them as their own secret. A trade secret acquired by an employee or a performer of an assigned task during the performance of the hired job or assigned task shall be owned by the employer or the task assignor, unless otherwise agreed by the parties.
Protection conditions for trade secret in Vietnam
A trade secret shall be protected when it satisfies the following conditions:
• Being neither common knowledge nor easily obtained;
• Being capable, when being used in business activities, of rendering advantages to its holder over those who do not hold or use it;
• Being kept secret by its owner with necessary measures so that it shall neither be disclosed nor easily accessible.
Subject matters not protected as trade secret in Vietnam
The following confidential information shall not be protected as trade secret:
• Personal identification secrets;
• State management secrets;
• National defense and security secrets;
• Other confidential information irrelevant to business.
Use of a trade secret in Vietnam means the performance of the following acts:
• Applying the business secret to the manufacturing proccess of products, provision of services or trade in goods;
• Selling, advertising for sale, stocking for sale or importing products manufactured with the application of the business secret.
Owners of trade secret in Vietnam shall not have the right to prevent others from performing the following acts:
• Disclosing or using business secrets acquired without knowing or having the obligation to know that they have been illegally acquired by other entities;
• Disclosing secret data in order to protect the public in accordance with the provisions of Clause 1, Article 128 of IP Law;
• Using secret data specified in Article 128 of IP Law which is not for commercial purposes;
• Disclosing or using business secrets obtained independently;
• Disclosing or using business secrets obtained by analyzing or evaluating legally distributed products, unless otherwise agreed upon by analyzers or evaluators and owners of such trade secret or sellers of such products.
Acts of infringing upon the rights to trade secret in Vietnam
The following acts shall be regarded as infringements of the rights to trade secret:
• Accessing or acquiring information pertaining to business secrets by taking acts against secretkeeping measures applied by legal controllers of such business secrets;
• Disclosing or using information pertaining to business secrets without permission of owners of such business secrets;
• Breaching secret-keeping contracts or deceiving, inducing, buying off, forcing, seducing or abusing the trust of persons in charge of secret-keeping in order to access, acquire or disclose business secrets;
• Accessing or acquiring information pertaining to business secrets of applicants for licenses for trading in or circulating products by taking acts against secret-keeping measures applied by competent agencies;
• Using or disclosing business secrets, while knowing or having obligation to know that they have been acquired by others engaged in one of the acts specified at Points a, b, c and d of Clause 1, Article 127 of IP Law;
• Failing to perform the secret-keeping obligation specified in Article 128 of IP Law.
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