EN
HR Legal

Internal information was not trade secrets

logo
Legal news
calendar 27 March 2024
globus Sweden

An employee of an HVB home deleted more than 1,600 files belonging to the company, 400 of which were claimed to be trade secrets. The Labour Court found none of the information to be trade secrets.

An employee who worked at a protected housing company deleted 1,600 of the company’s files, including password lists and procedural routines. 400 of the files were claimed to be trade secrets.

The company only managed to recover 19 out of the more than 1,600 deleted files. The recovered files included plans for a new emergency home and a new company strategy.

Not elaborate enough

No files were considered to contain trade secrets. This was mainly because the court was only had access to file names and the company could not prove how the information could cause damage to the company.

As for the recovered files, only those relating to a new emergency home and a new company strategy were relevant. However, the company had not shown that the content was so essential that disclosure could cause competitive damage.

IUNO’s opinion

This case illustrates that companies must be at a competitive loss if the secret is made public, meaning the information should be of economic value. Companies should also keep the information secret, although there is no formal requirement to do so.

IUNO recommends that companies identify their trade secrets and take an active part in safekeeping the information. It is important to know what information the company deems valuable to take steps to protect it. We have previously written about a case where two parties breached the Trade Secrets Act here.

[The Swedish Labour Court’s decision of 14 February 2024 in case 13/24]

An employee who worked at a protected housing company deleted 1,600 of the company’s files, including password lists and procedural routines. 400 of the files were claimed to be trade secrets.

The company only managed to recover 19 out of the more than 1,600 deleted files. The recovered files included plans for a new emergency home and a new company strategy.

Not elaborate enough

No files were considered to contain trade secrets. This was mainly because the court was only had access to file names and the company could not prove how the information could cause damage to the company.

As for the recovered files, only those relating to a new emergency home and a new company strategy were relevant. However, the company had not shown that the content was so essential that disclosure could cause competitive damage.

IUNO’s opinion

This case illustrates that companies must be at a competitive loss if the secret is made public, meaning the information should be of economic value. Companies should also keep the information secret, although there is no formal requirement to do so.

IUNO recommends that companies identify their trade secrets and take an active part in safekeeping the information. It is important to know what information the company deems valuable to take steps to protect it. We have previously written about a case where two parties breached the Trade Secrets Act here.

[The Swedish Labour Court’s decision of 14 February 2024 in case 13/24]

Receive our newsletter

Anders

Etgen Reitz

Partner

Similar

logo
HR Legal

28 June 2024

The naughty kindergarten teacher

logo
HR Legal

27 June 2024

New rules on foreign labour adopted

logo
HR Legal

14 June 2024

Equal rights for agency workers covered by collective agreements

logo
HR Legal

13 June 2024

Gender changes protected against gender discrimination

logo
HR Legal

6 June 2024

From Russia with love

logo
HR Legal

24 May 2024

Vegan rights on the menu

The team

Alexandra

Jensen

Legal advisor

Anders

Etgen Reitz

Partner

Caroline

Thorsen

Junior legal assistant

Cecillie

Groth Henriksen

Senior associate

Johan

Gustav Dein

Associate

Julie

Meyer

Senior legal assistant

Kirsten

Astrup

Managing associate (on leave)

Maria

Kjærsgaard Juhl

Legal advisor

Rikke

Grønlund Holm

Senior associate

Sofie

Aurora Braut Bache

Managing associate

Søren

Hessellund Klausen

Partner