Directive 2016/943 of June 8, 2016 establishes minimum standards for the protection of know-how and trade secrets in the EC. Since the regulation determines a minimum standard, the member states are at liberty to add further protective measures. The EU directive must be implemented by June 9, 2018. By that date, the member states must have enacted legislation necessary to guarantee the minimum protection standards.
At present there are considerable differences in the protection of know-how and trade secrets in the individual member states. The diverging levels of protection can have an adverse effect on cross-border research and development, because trade secrets could reach states that have very poor protection levels. The aim of the directive is to eliminate these differences and therefore to further international cooperation.
Lawyers Dr. Stefan Kofler and Dr. Georg Huber, LL.M. explain the main features of the new directive in a article in the Tyrolean Economic Chamber’s journal “Ideenkammer”.