Trade secrets—Belgium—Q&A guide

The following IP practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Trade secrets—Belgium—Q&A guide
  • 1. What legislation governs the protection of trade secrets in your jurisdiction? How is a ‘trade secret’ legally defined?
  • 2. How is ownership of a trade secret established?
  • 3. What criteria are used to establish the state of secrecy of a trade secret before misappropriation or disclosure?
  • 4. How is the commercial value of a trade secret established?
  • 5. What criteria are used to determine whether the rights holder has adopted reasonable protective measures to prevent disclosure and misappropriation of trade secrets?
  • 6. What best practices and internal policies should rights holders consider to ensure maximum protection of their trade secrets?
  • 7. What constitutes misappropriation of trade secrets?
  • 8. Are any activities explicitly excluded from the scope of trade-secret misappropriation?
  • 9. How can the rights holder prove trade-secret misappropriation?
  • More...

Trade secrets—Belgium—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to trade secrets in Belgium published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: August 2021).

Authors: ALTIUS—Sophie Lens

1. What legislation governs the protection of trade secrets in your jurisdiction? How is a ‘trade secret’ legally defined?

The protection of trade secrets is not governed by a single regulation, but by several separate legal provisions which, depending on the circumstances, can be used alone or in combination.

Following the adoption of the Law of 30 July 2018 on the protection of trade secrets, which transposed into Belgian law Directive (EU) 2016/943 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2016 on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure, the main provisions on the protection of trade secrets are contained in the Code of Economic Law (CEL) and the Judicial Code (JudC).

In addition to the provisions of the CEL and the JudC, the trade secret holder may also, depending on the circumstances, benefit from one or more of the following provisions:

  1. article 17(3°) of the Law of 3 July 1978 on employment contracts, which prohibits an employee from disclosing any trade secret of which they have become aware during the course of their professional activity, both during

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