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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

In November 2013, the Commission proposed a draft directive that will align existing laws against the misappropriation of trade secrets across the EU. The Directive harmonises the definition of trade secrets in accordance with existing internationally binding standards. It also defines the relevant forms of misappropriation and clarifies that reverse engineering and parallel innovation must be guaranteed, given that trade secrets are not a form of exclusive intellectual property right.

On 15 December 2015, the negotiating teams of the European Parliament and the Council reached a preliminary agreement on the text of the Directive. The Commission participated in the negotiations as a facilitator. The negotiations were carried out on the basis of the Common Approach agreed by the Council on 26 May 2014 and the report adopted by the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on 16 June 2015.

On 14 April 2016, the EP approved the text with amendements at first reading. The Directive was finally adopted in June 2016.

type: Directive

Reference number: Directive (EU) 2016/943

Issue date: 08-06-16

Official Journal: OJ L 157, 15 June 2016, pp. 1-18

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