Trade secrets, and the law relating to them, can seem a bit of a ‘black box’, but the basics are very simple. In summary, companies should 1) know what their trade secrets are and 2) take steps to keep them secret.
In England and Wales the protection of trade secrets has in the past been based on the common law principles of confidentiality, but that is soon to change. EU Directive 2016/943 “on the protection of undisclosed know how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure” has prompted the government to draft new Regulations to ensure that the entire UK is fully compliant with the Directive.
Our briefing summarises the provisions of the Directive (which should be implemented in all European Union Member States) and gives some brief practical advice for companies with trade secrets.