On February 27, 2018, the Japanese Cabinet approved and submitted to the Diet the Bill for the Act of Partial Revision of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, Etc. ("UCPA Amendment Bill").
The UCPA Amendment Bill aims to create an environment that will further facilitate the use of data, given the ongoing development of information technology. While the bill's main amendments are to the Unfair Competition Prevention Act ("UCPA"), the bill also includes amendments to the Industrial Standardization Act, the Patent Act, and the Patent Attorney Act. One of the key aspects of the bill is the addition of new acts of unfair competition: the wrongful acquisition, use, and disclosure of technical or business information that is managed using an ID/password or with encryption.
Currently, under the UCPA, the wrongful acquisition, use, and disclosure of trade secrets constitute acts of unfair competition and are subject to the remedies set out in the act.
Under the UCPA Amendment Bill, such remedies, including injunctive relief and the presumption of damages, will also apply to the wrongful acquisition, use, and disclosure of technical or business information not qualifying as trade secrets under the UCPA as long as the statutory requirements regarding information management are met.
If enacted, the UCPA Amendment Bill (excluding certain provisions) will come into force within one-and-a-half years from its promulgation. The enactment of the UCPA Amendment Bill is expected to have a significant impact on corporate information management practices.