Recht Aktuell


EU - Geschäftsgeheimnisse und parasitäres Kopieren (sklavische Nachahmungen)/Studie vorgelegt

Von Helge Freyer

(gtai) Am 13.1.2012 veröffentlichte  die EU-Kommission das Ergebnis der von ihr in Auftrag gegebenen Studie über Geschäftsgeheimnisse und parasitäres Kopieren (sklavische Nachahmungen).

Gegenstand der Studie, ausgeführt von Hogan Lovells International LLP,  war u.a. eine rechtsvergleichende Betrachtung der Rechtsschutzmechanismen bei Verletzung von Geschäftsgeheimnissen in den einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten sowie eine Gesamtdarstellung der Rechtsgrundlagen.

Nachfolgend ein Auszug aus der englischsprachigen Studie“Study on Trade Secrets and Parasitic Copying (Look-alikes), MARKT/2010/20/D, Report on Trade Secrets for the European Commission, Hogan Lovells International LLP”, Seite 10 f.:


41. Austria's Unfair Competition Act provides civil and criminal sanctions against trade or business secret misuse by employees and those who exploit such information without consent for the purposes of competition. Other legislation such as the Patents Act and the Criminal Code also provides legal remedies in particular circumstances, such as disclosure of inventions by employees or in cases of industrial espionage. In addition, the Austrian courts have held that obtaining trade or business secrets by breach of confidence (in the course of contractual negotiations) falls within the Unfair Competition Act.

42. There exists no statutory definition of "trade or business secrets" in Austria but the judiciary and legal scholars have devised a definition. This definition applies to all types of information, such as manufacturing, product technology, business information (such as customer and supplier lists) and know-how.

43. Austrian law does not contain a definition of intellectual property as such. The Enforcement Directive has not been implemented insofar as trade secrets are concerned.

44. To commence legal proceedings for trade secret infringement in Austria it is necessary to establish:

(a) the existence of the trade or business secret;

(b) the misappropriation of that secret by the infringer;

(c) the infringer's imminent intent to use or disclose such secret; and

(d) that the owner has a reasonable interest in its secrecy.

45. Civil remedies available in Austria are an injunction (interim injunctions are also available) and damages. A claim for damages requires fault on the part of the defendant (but a claim for cease and desist may be brought against an innocent infringer). A claim for damages can include loss of profits. Although there is no ability to obtain an account of the infringer's profits under the Unfair Competition Act, the Austrian Supreme Court has granted an account in cases of passing off by analogous application of Section 151 of the Patents Act.“ (…) 

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