Approach to implementation 

Since 1990, Sweden has had an Act on Protection of Trade Secrets, which provides protection against the unlawful acquisition, use or disclosure of trade secrets. The 1990 Act already met most of the requirements of the Directive.

However, in order to implement the Directive, a number of legislative changes will be made. This will be done mainly through the replacement of the 1990 Act with a new Act on Trade Secrets. Changes will also be made to the Code of Judicial Procedure, to the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act, and to the Act on Measures to Prevent Certain Particularly Serious Crimes.

Stage of legislative process 

The implementing legislation was adopted by the Swedish Riksdag on 23 May 2018. 

Timescale for implementation 

The legislative changes came into force on 1 July 2018.

Noteworthy points arising from the legislative changes 
  • Under the new legislation, more attacks on trade secrets will be considered unlawful than under the 1990 Act.

  • More attacks on trade secrets will result in liability to pay damages than under the 1990 Act.

  • The protection of secrecy for trade secrets in court proceedings is strengthened. 

  • The minimum penalty for grave trade espionage is increased from a fine to imprisonment for six months.