Trade Secrets Protection

Trade Secrets Protection

The Council has adopted a new Directive (EU) 2016/943 setting out rules for trade secrets protection.

The Directive lays down measures for the protection of undisclosed know-how and confidential business information (trade secrets) of EU companies, adopting common measures against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure.

Member States have a maximum of two years to incorporate the new provisions into domestic law. EU Member States will have to provide for fair, effective and dissuasive measures, procedures and remedies necessary to ensure the availability of civil redress against the illegal acquisition, use and disclosure of trade secrets. These measures must not be unnecessarily complicated or costly, nor may they entail unreasonable time limits or unwarranted delays.

Trade secret holders will be entitled to apply for remedies in case of damages following cases of illegal appropriation of documents, objects, materials, substances or electronic files containing a trade secret or from which a trade secret can be deduced.

The text of the Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union of 15 June 2016 and can be downloaded at this link: