At the end of last week, the European Commission proposed new rules on the protection of confidential business information against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure. The draft directive introduces a harmonised definition of trade secrets, as well as means through which victims of trade secret misappropriation can obtain redress.
Trade secret misappropriation is indeed a real problem to European businesses. According to a recent survey, one in five companies has suffered at least one attempt to steal its trade secrets in the last ten years. This directive therefore aims to provide businesses with:
- an adequate level of protection;
- an effective means of redress if their trade secrets are stolen or misused;
- a safer environment in which they can create, share and license valuable know-how and technology across the borders of the single market; and
- easier engagement in common and collaborative projects for innovation and research.
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