Translation of TIPO draft amendments to Trade Secret Act

After the public hearing on proposed amendments to the Trade Secrets Act in late April. the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office revised its draft bill criminalizing trade secret theft.  Here is our translation.


Article 13-1


A person who, intending to procure an unlawful benefit for himself or for a third person or intending to injure the interests of the owner of a trade secret, does any of the following, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than five years, or detention, and may additionally be fined a criminal fine of not less than NT$50,000 and not more than NT$10 million:


1. acquires a trade secret by stealing, embezzlement, fraud, coercion, unauthorized reproduction,   or other improper conduct;


2. uses or discloses a trade secret after the actor in the preceding sub-paragraph obtains it;


3. knowing of or possessing a trade secret, reproduces, uses, or discloses that trade secret without authorization or exceeding the scope of authorization;


4. knowing of or possessing a trade secret, fails to delete or destroy the trade secret after having been instructed to do so by the owner of the trade secret or who continues to conceal the trade secret;


5. acquires, uses, or discloses a trade secret knowing that a trade secret was acquired, reproduced, used, or disclosed by another person under the preceding four sub-paragraphs.

Any attempt to commit the crime in the preceding paragraph is punishable.


Article 13-2


Whoever commits an offense listed in any subparagraph of paragraph 1 of the preceding article with the intent to use [a trade secret] in a foreign country, the Mainland Region, Hong Kong, or Macau shall be imprisoned for not less than six months and not more than five years and may additionally be fined a criminal fine of not less than NT$500,000 and not more than NT$50 million.


Any attempt to commit the crime in the preceding paragraph is punishable.


Article 13-3


Prosecution for the offenses specified in the previous two articles may be instituted only upon complaint.


Article 13-4


When the representative of a legal person, the agent of a legal person or a natural person, an employee, or other personnel commits one of the offenses defined in Articles 13-1 and 13-2 in the course of his duties, the legal person or natural person shall also be fined under the provisions of those articles in addition to the punishment of the actor. If however the representative of the legal person or the natural person has done his utmost to prevent these acts, he shall be exempt from the fine.


The effect of the initiation or withdrawal of a complaint against any one of an actor, legal person, or natural person under the preceding paragraph shall not extend to others.


Article 14-1


In civil proceedings arising from infringement of trade secrets, where a party asserting infringement of trade secrets or a likelihood of infringement has clarified the concrete circumstances of the thing or method constituting the infringement and the counterparty denies the acts of infringement, the counterparty shall clarify the concrete circumstances of his acts. This duty [to clarify] shall not apply if the counterparty has good reason for his inability to clarify.