top of page
  • CN-KnowHow IP Group

Beijing IP Court releases 10 typical cases of infringement of trade secrets #8

On November 30th, 2023, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court held a press conference to release the ten typical cases of infringement of trade secrets. These cases are significant in clarifying the judicial thinking and rules for handling trade secret infringement cases, enhancing awareness of self-protection and compliance for businesses, and fostering a favorable atmosphere in society that respects and protects trade secrets. We will provide a complete translation of the case details and analysis text released by the Beijing Intellectual Property Court as follows:

Case 8: Infringement of Data Trade Secret Case


Case Summary


After Zhao was employed by a certain information technology limited company (referred to as Company A), Company A clearly defined Zhao's confidentiality obligations and implemented measures to protect the company's trade secrets. Zhao illegally disclosed Company A's trade secrets, including the "Market Expense Ledger Template July 2018" Excel file, to a competitor, a certain advertising limited company (referred to as Company B. Upon learning of this, Company B actively contacted the channel partners listed in the document for potential business cooperation. Company A filed a lawsuit against Zhao and Company B in the first-instance court, alleging that their actions constituted a breach of trade secrets and sought an injunction to stop the infringement, permanent deletion of documents containing the trade secrets, and joint compensation for economic losses of CNY 500,000 and reasonable expenses of CNY 30,768.


After the first-instance court trial, it was determined that Zhao's actions violated Article 9, Paragraph 1, Item 3 of the 2019 Anti-Unfair Competition Law, and Company B's actions violated Article 9, Paragraph 3 of the same law. Both actions constituted an infringement of Company A's trade secrets. Therefore, the first-instance court ordered Zhao and Company Y to cease the infringement, permanently delete documents containing trade secrets, and separately compensate Company B with CNY 50,000 and CNY 150,000 for economic losses, with a joint compensation of CNY 30,768 for reasonable expenses.


Zhao was dissatisfied with the first-instance judgment and appealed to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court. The second-instance court upheld the original judgment and rejected the appeal.


Key Points of the Judgment


Customer data or marketing acquisition channels are essential support for AI platform-based companies engaged in business activities. The precision of customer data or marketing channels is also an important aspect of a company's competitive advantage in the digital economy era. When meeting the conditions of secrecy, value, and confidentiality, they constitute trade secrets protected by law. Employees or former employees are eligible legal entities for infringing on trade secrets, and they are not allowed to illegally use operational information such as customer data or marketing channels that they have encountered during their work. Competitors who, knowing or should know that such trade secrets belong to employees or former employees, maliciously obtain and use them, should also be considered as engaging in trade secret infringement.


In this case, it was argued that the trade secret right holder had provided preliminary evidence reasonably demonstrating the infringement of trade secrets and that there was evidence indicating that the alleged infringer had the means or opportunity to acquire the trade secrets and that the information they used was substantially identical to the trade secrets. In such cases, the alleged infringer should be required to prove that they did not engage in trade secret infringement.


bottom of page