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Trade Secrets

The European Parliament has recently approved a new Trade Secrets Directive, which is expected to come into force following approval by the European Council when they vote in May.

The rationale behind the new Directive is that current protection of trade secrets varies widely across the EU and this poses a risk to cross border investment. In a consultation on the proposed Directive in 2013, it was found that companies considered trade secrets highly important for development and competitiveness and a significant majority had concerns about current protections, such as the risks of operating in Member States with weaker protection and the costs of preventative measures. The EU press release regarding the Directive states that 1 out of 5 companies is a victim of theft of trade secrets every year.