Taiwan gets tough on Trade Secrets Act violators

To boost Taiwan’s international competitiveness and protect companies from the predatory actions of their foreign rivals, the ROC’s Legislature Jan. 11 passed revisions to the Trade Secrets Act, adding criminal liabilities and stiffer civil penalties for violators.

Under the new law, in cases of the illegal acquisition, use or leaking of commercial secrets through theft or unauthorized copying, the perpetrator shall be liable to up to five years in prison and a fine of between NT$1 million (US$34,400) and NT$10 million, a Ministry of Economic Affairs official said.

In cases where the violator’s personal gain from the illegal action exceeds the maximum amount of the fine, the perpetrator will be liable to a further fine of up to three times the gain.

In view of foreign competitors poaching Taiwanese staff in large numbers with the intention of exploiting their knowledge of trade secrets, the penalty for such illegal activity will be 1-10 years in prison, an additional fine of between NT$3 million and NT$50 million, and in cases where personal gain exceeds the amount of the fine, a further penalty of between two and 10 times the gain, the MOEA said.

Taiwan Today