Dare to share? Proposed new directive should help protect your confidential information when doing business in Europe
By Claire Davies
The European Commission has proposed a new directive (entitled the ‘Directive on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information [trade secrets] against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure’), which should help businesses to stop others from obtaining, disclosing or using their trade secrets in the EU without their permission.
The proposal comes off the back of two studies into the protection of trade secrets in the EU, which were published by the commission in 2012 and 2013. These revealed, among other things, that one in five European companies has suffered at least one attempt to steal its trade secrets in the past 10 years. It appears that numbers are on the rise too. According to another recent study published by Kroll, 25 per cent of European companies reported theft of their information in 2013, compared with 18 per cent in the previous year.
Trade secrets — often referred to as ‘confidential business information’ or ‘undisclosed know-how’ — can be important assets for any business, including those in the life sciences sector. The information might be technical in nature (e.g. know-how relating to a manufacturing process) or it might be commercial (e.g. the results of market research). Often the information does not qualify for any formal type of intellectual property protection (such as a patent or copyright), yet many companies value the knowledge just as highly, sometimes more so, than more traditional types of intellectual property rights. It’s what gives their businesses a competitive edge. Keeping control of that information, and protecting its confidentiality, is paramount…
Click on the link below to read the rest of the Bristows briefing.
Sign in or Register to continue reading this article
It's quick, easy and free!
It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.Register now
Why register to The Lawyer
In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.
Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.
Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.
More relevant to you
To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.
News from Bristows
News from The Lawyer
Briefings from Bristows
The High Court has held that in certain circumstances the European Insolvency Regulations 1346/2000/EC may effectively extend the jurisdictional reach of the English courts.
A recent decision may result in a potentially more expansive basis for establishing jurisdiction over defendants in Europe.
Analysis from The Lawyer
Upcoming EU data protection regulations are just part of a wider legal reform process.