EU Parliament adopts trade secrets directive

On 14 April 2016, the European Parliament adopted the draft on the new Directive on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure .

The directive introduces an EU-wide definition of “trade secret”, meaning information which is secret, has commercial value because it is secret, and has been subject to reasonable steps to keep it secret.

The text offers means of action and remedies against ‘unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure of confidential commercial information’, such  as injunctions and correctives measures, damages and provisional and precautionary measures.

The Directive also contains provisions on the preservation of confidentiality of trade secrets in the course of legal proceedings.

According to the press release, ‘MEPs ensured that freedom of expression and information will be protected and that the rules will not restrict the work of journalists.

After adoption of the text by the Council, the Member States will have two years to implement the provisions of the Directive into national law.

Philippe Ocvirk