Trade Secrets Directive

With the Trade Secrets Directive it is possible to protect trade secrets more comprehensively than before. We have broken down all of the key information you need to know about the European Trade Secrets Directive on our website, along with information on the current status of the German Trade Secrets Act. In addition, all articles from the Directive have been linked to the underlying recitals and all legislative documents published to date have been provided.

The Directive (EU) 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 - abbreviated to Trade Secrets Directive or sometimes Know-how Directive - harmonises the legal protection of trade secrets within the European Union.


In Germany, the EU Trade Secrets Directive will be transposed by way of the German Trade Secrets Act within this year. In future, companies that want to protect their know-how and their other trade secrets (for example customer relationships, internal figures), will have to change their protection strategy to fit the new law. Otherwise, there is the danger that previously protected know-how and trade secrets could become common property.


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Chapter I - Subject matter and scope

Chapter II - Acquisition, use and disclosure of trade secrets

Chapter III - Measures, procedures and remedies

Section 1 General provisions

Section 2 Provisional and precautionary measures

Section 3 Measures resulting from a decision on the merits of the case

Chapter IV - Sanctions, reporting and final provisions