Proposed New Rules on Trade Secrets in Europe – the European Commission Proposal on the Protection of Know-How

2 12 2014

As a special feature of our blog –special guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals –please enjoy this blog entry by Bartosz Sujecki, an attorney from Bavelaar Advocaten in the Netherlands, on the European Commission’s proposed Directive to provide harmonized trade secret protections in Europe.

-Robert Milligan, Editor of Trading Secrets

By Bartosz Sujecki

The protection of trade secrets is very important for every company. At the beginning of a patent, a design or a copyright, there is an idea. The idea must be kept secret in order to enjoy the later protection. Therefore, the protection of know-how is as well essential for the protection of intellectual property rights. In the European Union, the protection level of know-how differs in the Member States. Some Member States do not have any rules regarding the protection of know-how. In only few Member States, the national laws define the term trade secrets or protect trade secrets. Additionally, the national laws of all Member States do not have the opportunity to file for a cease and desist order against infringers of trade secrets. Besides that, the rules on the calculation of damages for the infringement of intellectual property rights are inadequate for the infringement of trade secrets. In addition, the national rules do not have criminal sanctions in cases of infringement or even theft of trade secrets. Another problem of the national laws of the Member States is that they do not have any rules regarding the protections of trade secrets during litigation.


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