On 28 November 2013 the European Commission (the “Commission”) published proposals for a Directive on Trade Secrets (the “Directive”). The Directive aims to protect trade secrets from unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure. It also seeks to harmonise the national laws of Member States by establishing common definitions, procedures and sanctions.
The Directive is currently progressing through the European legislative process and in May 2014 the Council of Ministers (the “Council”) recommended a number of amendments. The Directive will now be negotiated by the European Parliament (the “Parliament”) and the Council in early 2015. If adopted, Member States will have a further two years to implement the proposals. It is expected that the final Directive will be published by summer 2015.
This Briefing Note discusses some of the key aspects of the Directive and its likely effect on businesses. It is recommended that businesses should make themselves aware of these key provisions.Download PDF