Implementation of the Trade Secrets Directive in Germany – not there yet, but progress being made…

The Implementation of the Trade Secrets Directive in Germany has taken another important step, but continues to be delayed. While the deadline for the implementation of the Directive (9 June 2018) has long passed, the German parliament only held the first of three required readings of the current German draft in their session on 11 October 2018.

With many drafts of new legislation to discuss, the German parliament actually only started discussing the implementation of the Directive at 1am on the 12 October. But the new German “Geheimnisschutzgesetz” (Act on the protection of trade secrets) was not the sole focus of attention: The German government intends to implement a new law protecting Whistleblowers simultaneously with the implementation of the Directive. The political parties were in complete disagreement on the scope of protection for Whistleblowers. Interested readers can view a German protocol of the heated debate here. 

In the end, the implementing draft was sent to three committees that will amend the draft where necessary and prepare it for the second reading. The discussion in the parliament did not make it clear which portions will be amended. An implementation of the directive is not to be expected in 2018, but might be possible in the first quarter of 2019.

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