Law in House 5: Check – Know-how and trade secret protection

Business and trade secrets (know-how) often represent a significant company asset. They make the company unique and future-proof, which is why their protection is essential for the company. Wouldn’t it be disastrous if supplier and customer data, recipes and/or manufacturing processes, etc. that were thought to be confidential were suddenly to lose their trade secret protection?

After the new Trade Secrets Protection Act (GeschGehG) came into force on 26 April 2019, companies are currently facing this threat if they fail to take appropriate confidentiality measures in future. The new GeschGehG only protects information as confidential if the authorised owner has taken active protective measures to protect it. It is therefore no longer sufficient for the company to merely have an intention to maintain secrecy with regard to certain confidential information.

In the course of this amendment to the law, we offer to take a look at the confidentiality measures in place in your company to protect confidential information as a first step. This involves scrutinising any confidentiality obligations of employees, checking non-disclosure agreements with third parties (NDAs) and looking at your general instructions and technical protection measures.

Further information/documents could be

  • Categorization of trade secrets
  • Instruction sheets, training content
  • Post-contractual non-compete clauses
  • IT security concept


In a second step, we come to your company and work with the employees responsible for protecting know-how in your company to develop an appropriate protection strategy, taking into account the knowledge gained in step 1, in order to fulfil the legal requirements of the German Trade Secrets Act. Our aim will be to ensure that the protective measures to be taken are geared to the value of the secret as a whole and for the company and are appropriate to the size of your company, while also keeping an eye on the costs. You can then decide for yourself whether you want to implement the identified protective measures yourself or seek further legal advice and support from us. In the latter case, we will be happy to provide you with a customised offer.

Cost of this comprehensive know-how protection check: By arrangement. The fee depends on the desired scope of the know-how protection check in terms of content and time.

Dr. Daniel Schöneich
Phone: +49 351 563 90 20