EU agrees on new framework for trade secrets protection

BRUSSELS, May 26 (Xinhua) -- The Council of the Europe Union agreed on Monday a general approach for establishing a new framework for trade secrets protection, according to a Council statement.

The new framework aims to make it easier for national courts to deal with the misappropriation of confidential business information, remove the trade secret infringing products from the market and make it easier for victims to receive compensation for illegal actions.

According to the statement, the framework would include the establishment of common principles in line with international agreements, as well as measures and remedies that should be made available for the purpose of civil law redress.

It also would include the preservation of confidentiality in the course of legal proceedings, while ensuring that the rights of the parties involved in a trade secret ligation case are not undermined.

Trade secrets have an important role in protecting the exchange of knowledge between businesses and research institutions, the statement noted.

In order to promote fair competitiveness and an innovative business environment, restrictions to the use of trade secrets are justified in cases where the relevant know-how of information has been obtained through dishonest means, it added.

The general approach agreed by the Council Monday sets a common position on a draft directive regarding the protection of trade secrets against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure.

The draft directive was submitted by the European Commission in November last year and has yet to be adopted.