News & Insight

Newsletter April 16, 2018
Update on trade secrets

Update on trade secrets



he UK Government will shortly enact a new trade secrets law.

The objective is to comply with the EU Trade Secrets Directive (EU) 2016/943, which the UK must do until it leaves the EU in March 2019.

In fact, the UK already has a sophisticated body of trade secrets law, so little substantive change is needed.

However, the UK’s trade secrets law has grown up through decided cases and this will be the first time that the essential tenets will be enshrined in statute law.

Thus, there will be a codified definition of a “trade secret” comprising (as under the present UK case law) 3 prongs:

(1)        the information must be confidential;

(2)        it should have commercial value because of its confidentiality; and

(3)        the trade secrets holder should have made reasonable efforts to keep it confidential.

The other codifications include express rules specifying when proceedings must be brought, the preservation of trade secrets in the course of judicial proceedings and available remedies including importantly interim remedies ensuring the confidentiality of secret information pending trial.

Most if not all companies have trade secrets and they often rank alongside a company’s other intellectual property as that company’s most valuable assets.

The new Trade Secrets Regulations are expected to become law by the Summer.

For advice on how best to protect and defend your trade secrets against misuse contact

Humphreys Law


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