Law on Protection of Business Secrets: Protection in line with modern business

The Law on Protection of Business Secrets (hereinafter: the Law) was adopted by the Serbian National Assembly on May 28, 2021. The new Law has replaced the 2011 law under the same name and harmonizes the legal protection of business secrets in Serbia with the relevant regulations of the European Union. First of all, the amendments bring more detailed definitions and more precise conditions together with some new concepts.

The concept of business secret has been expanded and the Law sets the conditions under which information may be considered a business secret:

  • information that has a commercial value precisely because it is a secret, i.e. it has a market value
  • person lawfully controlling such secret in the given circumstances has taken reasonable measures to preserve its secrecy
  • information or parts thereof are not generally known or easily accessible to persons who normally come into contact with this type of information during their activities;

    A business secret can be protected in two ways: preventively and in a situation when it is violated.

    Some of the preventive protection measures are rulebooks regulating confidential information handling through conclusion of confidentiality agreements, i.e. non-disclosure of confidential information with persons who could potentially come into possession of business secrets, or through inserting a confidentiality clause in commercial contracts.

    If a violation occurs, the Law provides for longer deadlines for filing a lawsuit, no later than five years from the date of violation or from the date of the last violation, if such violation has been done continuously.

    Violating business secrets is an economic offense and respective penalties remained identical to the previous law, but the new Law introduces liability of both natural persons and entrepreneurs who can be fined up to 150,000 rsd for a natural person, or up to half a million rsd for an entrepreneur.

    The Law on Protection of Business Secrets brings more favorable conditions for modern business and is adapted to the modern market, bearing in mind that modern business today relies heavily on confidential information processing, which, in this way, becomes the most valuable asset.