Innovation, the European Market and the new EU Trade Secrets Directive


The international focus on protecting intangible assets such as trade secrets and confidential information has led to a positive step by the European Commission to harmonise the framework for protecting confidential business information across Europe. The Trade Secrets Directive, expected in mid-2015, will facilitate international business growth by providing greater certainty as to the protection of trade secrets and will provide opportunities to innovate and exploit a valuable asset class across Europe.

To achieve the European Commission's goal of creating an innovation friendly environment in Europe by 2020, the Directive will unify laws by providing a number of harmonisation provisions, including a simple definition of what constitutes a trade secret and setting out remedies available to trade secret holders.

In our article, we set out the impact of the Directive, the pervading risk of insider threat to your organisation and offer our thoughts on how the Directive creates a new exploitable asset class for businesses.

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