Trade Secret Theft: What will the new EU legislation bring?

Trade Secret Theft: What will the new EU legislation bring?

Following the recent introduction of enhanced trade secrets protection in both the EU and the US, Charlotte Tillett and Astrid Arnold consider what difference the new European Trade Secrets Directive will make, the impact of Brexit and how life sciences companies can improve their position.

When signing the US Defend Trade Secrets Act on May 11, President Obama highlighted the importance of trade secrets in protecting innovation and competitiveness, pointing to the Asia Pacific region in particular as growing rapidly and having a "tendency to steal trade secrets" and "produce knock-offs for those markets".

The new act for the first time introduce federal civil action in the US for the misappropriation of trade secrets. Shortly after the legislation was signed into law, the EU on June 8 enacted the Trade Secrets Directive. This followed a study carried out for the European Commission that showed that in Europe too, the danger of leaks is perceived to be increasing, with risks coming from industrial espionage, former employees, competitors and suppliers.

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By Charlotte Tillett, Partner & Head of Life Sciences and Astrid Arnold, PSL
First published in Scrip Regulatory Affairs, July 2016

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