European Commission

Intellectual Property – Trade Secrets

The European Commission has now put in place its proposals on overhauling the law relating to trade secrets across the whole of the EU – not a small task by any means, but, the purpose of it (as with much of these type of laws) is to protect and make it easier for holders of such trade secrets (think the recipe for Coca Cola) to enforce their rights against third parties – after all, why would anyone, or, any company invest time and money and energy into creating anything if it could not be protected?

The Commission wishes to create a standard level of protection and has decided that in order to be a “trade secret” as trade secret must have the following characteristics:

(a)     the information must be confidential;

(b)    the information should have commercial value; and

(c)   the trade secret holder should have made reasonable efforts to keep it confidential.

The Commission also set out a set of what are called “remedies” such as injunctions, seizure of goods as well as damages for losses suffered – none of these remedies will come as any surprise to any legal practitioner, rather, it is the ability to enforce them that will be key due to the above new definition of what constitutes a “trade secret” – it is hoped that this new arrow in the quiver of IP protection within the EU will further encourage businesses to do business within the EU safe in the knowledge that their intellectual property will be fully protected.

The only fly in the ointment is that it will probably take another say, 2 years before the law will be enacted in Ireland but if you have any problems in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact us at Reilly & Co, Solicitors.

David Reilly

We specialise within the area of Commercial and Technology Law and if you wish to discuss any of the above please call us on 023 99 21919 or on 086 252 9483 or email us on – we regularly advise on software and all types of commercial and IT contracts.