Trade secret

EU directive on trade secrets: an opportunity Malta should not miss

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Thursday, January 30, 2014, 00:01 by

Paul Micallef Grimaud and Philip Mifsud

Traditionally businesses treat physical assets as their most valuable. Intangible assets are, however, increasingly relevant. This is particularly true of intellectual property. The new challenge for businesses is keeping the ingredients that define their product or service secret.


The European Commission’s Proposal for a Directive on the Protection of Trade Secrets published in November 2013 will likely be well received by European commercial players across the spectrum. Its objective: a uniform level of protection and certainty for trade secrets throughout the single market.

As defined, a trade secret has three constituent elements: (i) the information must be confidential; (ii) it should have commercial value because of its confidentiality; and (iii) the trade secret holder should have made reasonable efforts to keep it confidential.

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