2. This agreement does not prevent members from stating in their legislation the licensing practices or conditions which, in some cases, may constitute an abuse of intellectual property rights detrimental to competition in the market in question. As noted above, a member may adopt, under the other provisions of this agreement, appropriate measures to prevent or control such practices, such as exclusive grantback conditions, conditions to prevent validity challenges and mandatory packaging authorizations, in light of the relevant laws and regulations of that member. A trade secret may also consist of a combination of elements, each of which is accessible to the public, but when the combination, which is kept secret, offers a competitive advantage. According to the legal system, the legal protection of trade secrets is part of the general concept of protection against unfair competition or is based on specific provisions or jurisprudence protecting confidential information. The removal of a trademark for non-use cannot take place before the expiry of a three-year period of uninterrupted non-use, unless the trademark holder has good reason to prevent it. Circumstances beyond the control of the trademark holder, such as import restrictions or other state restrictions, are recognized as valid grounds for non-use. The use of a trademark by another person subject to the control of its owner must be recognized as the use of the trademark for the purpose of maintaining registration (Article 19). Although patents and trade secrets can be seen as alternative means of protecting inventions, they are often complementary. Often, business secrecy law complements patent law in the earlier stages of the innovation process, allowing inventors to work on their ideas until they become a patentable invention. In addition, valuable know-how for the operation of a patented invention is often considered a commercial secret in the most commercially successful manner. Accordingly, the use of a trade secret by a person who acquired this information in a legitimate, negligent business transaction is not considered illegal.
For example, a competitor may purchase a product, study the design or composition of the product, and extract the secret knowledge embedded in the product (so-called reverse engineering).