Orgalime position paper on the proposal for a directive on the protection of 'trade secrets'

Published: 26 January 2015

Policies & Issues: Legal

Orgalime welcomes the proposal for a directive on the protection of 'trade secrets' drafted under article 114 of the Treaty of Functioning of the European Union.  Our industry supports the initiative of the Commission to ensure an efficient and practical protection of trade secrets. This is consistent with a thriving and innovative European market, which will – now more than ever – shift towards a market of research, development and innovation.

In today's economy, information and know-how - representing the result of R&D investments, creativity and business initiative - have become the key factors for developing and maintaining competitive advantage. Trade secrets are particularly important to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that perform most of their innovation work when exploring new specific technical solutions to a potential customer’s needs.

Furthermore, manufacturers are deploying the latest ICT-based machines, systems and networks capable of independently exchanging and responding to information in order to manage industrial production processes and logistics and operate energy networks, etc., and are starting to discover the potential of “big data” and analytics. The fourth industrial revolution (known as Industrie 4.0, Smart Industry, etc…) will rely heavily therefore on trade secrets and therefore the proposed directive should be the guardrail of such innovative developments in the engineering sector, which Orgalime considers as essential for Europe’s industrial renaissance.

 

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