Impact of the EU Trade Secrets Directive on M&A Transactions

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EU Member States have until 9 June 2018 to implement the Trade Secrets Directive (2016/943/EU) into their national laws. Whilst the new Directive very helpfully aligns the legal protections conferred on trade secrets across the EU, it also contains specific prerequisites for companies wishing to take advantage of these new protections. Crucially, the Trade Secrets Directive creates a uniform EU-wide definition of a “trade secret” that requires businesses to prove that they have taken “reasonable steps” to keep their commercially valuable information secret. In this article, we examine how the Directive in general and the above obligation in particular will affect the M&A process.

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