Trade secrets

Trade secrets are invaluable intangible assets to protect the innovation know-how of companies. Trade secrets can be at the origin of every patent, design and all intellectual property rights. At the same time, exposure to misappropriation of trade secrets has been increasing. In 2012 18% of companies reported theft of information, in 2013 the percentage increased to 25%. Currently in Europe, protection of trade secrets against misappropriation faces substantial differences, important gaps and shortcomings.

Harmonisation is necessary because companies currently face different or no rules at all in the EU.  Agreeing on common remedies at the EU level will generate legal certainty for companies, which is important for creating European jobs and stimulating growth.

Last updated: 6 November 2015