In the ever-accelerating competition, especially in areas that are characterized by many innovations and high research achievements, knowledge is also created that often cannot or should not be protected by the acquisition or application of absolute property rights in the short time available. Many companies refrain from filing patents to prevent their intellectual property from becoming known early through disclosure.
In order to protect such intellectual property, the EU adopted directive 2016/943, the so-called Know-How Directive, in 2016, an extended protection of trade secrets. In Germany, this directive was implemented by the Trade Secrets Act passed in 2019.
However, the directive contains a hurdle that is not always easy to overcome. The applicant for an intellectual property rights lawsuit must prove that he was in possession of a trade secret to be protected, that a third party has unlawfully appropriated himself. For this, the time at which one can prove that one was initially in possession of this intellectual property is often decisive. This proof is not always easy to provide, because internal documents and, above all, the date of creation, especially in the case of digital documents, could be questioned by the defendant. However, if the corresponding evidence has been deposited at the right moment in time with a trustee who can prove the time of storage, the court-proof is easy to provide, when the intellectual property has been classified as a trade secret as well as its origin and creation.
The same applies if a competitor has applied for a patent that should not actually have any effect on their own products or processes, because corresponding inventions have already been applied in their own company without applying for a patent. In this case, too, proof is easy to provide if the trustee can confirm that corresponding documents have already been deposited with him before the patent was applied for.
Two examples of why it makes sense to regularly deposit important intellectual property with a trustee.
Why choose Digital Escrow Services
Digital escrow thus provides the simple and inexpensive basis for successful and undisputed proof of when trade secrets arose, that they were recognized as such in good time and should be protected.
The high level of encryption, which is already carried out on the part of the consigning company, ensures that these trade secrets cannot be viewed by third parties at the time of delivery. With the security of ISO27001-certified data centers that comply with the Uptime Institute's Tier3 standard, it is ensured that the trade secrets are securely protected from unauthorized persons for the duration of the trusteeship. After delivery to the trustee, access to these deposited trade secrets via the Internet is no longer possible.
Protecting digital assets by giving it to a trustee is just a fingertip away and can happen smoothly, can be fully automated and does not create additional workload for those people that should continue to work on new innovations.