The Supreme Court rendered the 105-Tai-Shang-1501 Civil Decision of August 31, 2016 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that unlawful infringement upon a company’s trade secrets with economic values means the company has sustained a loss of comparable property value according to general social concepts.
According to the facts underlying this Decision, the Appellant is a company that develops and produces tire pressure monitoring system (hereinafter, the “TPMS”). The Appellees had previously been the Appellant’s employees who successively left and set up a company to operate the same TPMS business that the Appellant has been operating. After the Appellant filed a complaint, it was found as a result of the police’s search that the Appellant’s important trade secrets such as customer information, documents managed by the Appellant’s research and development department, ISO documents and tables and forms were in the possession of the company separately set up by such individuals. Therefore, the Appellant filed a complaint for its losses from trade secret infringement and sought damages in the amount of NT$3 million, which shall be jointly and severally assumed by the Appellees.
According to the Decision, the company’s trade secrets at issue had economic values and the company indeed could sustain a loss of comparable property value if they are unlawfully infringed according to general social concepts. Since the original decision which contained unfavorable findings on the ground that the Appellant could not substantiate its losses was certainly unlawful, the original decision was reversed and remanded.