Trade secret protection within the internal market – EU directive enters into force

Today saw the enactment of Directive (EU) 2016/943 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2016 on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure (text: Eur-Lex).

The recitals to that directive state that “businesses, irrespective of their size, value trade secrets as much as patents and other forms of intellectual property right. They use confidentiality as a business competitiveness and research innovation management tool, and in relation to a diverse range of information that extends beyond technological knowledge to commercial data such as information on customers and suppliers, business plans, and market research and strategies.”

The aim of the directive is to create a uniform level of protection of trade secrets across all EU Member States. It is an attempt to balance the often conflicting interests of authors, innovators, business undertakings and their employees for the sake of supporting and stimulating innovation.

Member States are required to implement the directive into their domestic legal systems by 9 June 2018.

Trade secrets protection under Polish law is now guaranteed by the provisions of the Act of 16 April 1993 on Combating the Unfair Competition (text: ISAP), accompanied by a number of regulations concerning the confidential information in specific sectors or activities (e.g. financial services, liberal professions).

See in PUBLICATIONS: Report: Poland, in: F. Henning-Bodewig (ed.), International Handbook on Unfair Competition…

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