Trade Secret Protection, U.S. And Europe
May 18, 2016
Law professor and blogger Dennis Crouch looks at similarities and differences in an area of IP law that’s been going through significant change in both venues. The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) was signed by President Obama on May 11 and goes into effect immediately. The European Council’s Trade Secrets Directive defines minimum standards for trade secret protection, but it gives Member States two years to implement its provisions into their own national laws. In both venues, to be considered a trade secret the information must be kept confidential and derive an economic value from that confidentiality, and in both venues trade secrets differs from other kinds of IP in that they do not have to be entirely novel. From there it gets more complicated. This comparison looks at how trade secrets are defined, ground rules and provisions for keeping trade secret confidential during litigation, whistleblower exceptions and protections (that’s one area where there are significant differences), remedies, employee mobility and non-competes, and time limits for bringing an action.
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