In November 2013, after the Commission presented the
proposal for the directive on the protection of undisclosed
know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their
unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure, better known as the
Directive on the protection of Know-How(1), the Commission, the
European Parliament and Council finally reached a preliminary
agreement on 15 December last.
The proposed Directive introduces a common definition for the
concept of "trade secrets" as well as the mechanisms, via
civil proceedings, by means of which the victims of the
misappropriation of trade secrets are able to obtain compensation,
thus seeking to establish a harmonization in this sense at European
The main novelties as regards the original text
presented in 2013 are as follows:
Emphasis has been placed on this as a minimum
directive, in which each state can raise its standards, except in
those cases when the former expressly indicates the
The fact that illicit behavior will have no protection
under this directive has been highlighted.
The intention has been to seek a better balance between
freedom of expression and the protection of trade
In principle, reverse engineering is legal, although
this may be qualified at a national level.
The requirement for the trade secret to be obtained
"in a deliberate manner or with gross negligence" without
the consent of its owner for the same to be considered illegal has
It is left to the states to establish the period of
limitations during which the plaintiff may take action. This period
may not, in any case, be superior to six years.
Emphasis is placed on maintaining confidentiality
during legal procedures, increasing the measures that the courts
may take to this end. These dispositions are also in line with the
project for a Unified Patent Court.
It is expected that this directive will be definitively approved
during the present year. The states will have a period of two
years to transpose the same into national law.
(1) On the protection of undisclosed know-how and
business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful
acquisition, use and disclosure
¡Ven a vernos a la Conferencia Anual de INTA 2017 en Barcelona!
Nuestros expertos de América Latina, España y Portugal estarán encantados de reunirse con vosotros para tratar cualquier asunto relacionado con la gestión de la cartera de Propiedad Industrial e Intelectual.
Nos encontraréis en el Hotel Santos Porta Fira desde el domingo 21 de mayo hasta el martes 23 de mayo en la sala Europa ubicada en la planta 24th. Estamos a 5 minutos del Recinto Ferial Fira Gran Vía.
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