Trade secrets and confidential information—protection and enforcement
Produced in partnership with William Smith of Bird & Bird LLP
Trade secrets and confidential information—protection and enforcement

The following Information Law practice note Produced in partnership with William Smith of Bird & Bird LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Trade secrets and confidential information—protection and enforcement
  • Introduction to the laws protecting confidential information and trade secrets in the UK
  • What is confidential information?
  • Necessary quality of confidence
  • Situations imposing an obligation of confidence
  • Commercial situations giving rise to confidentiality disputes
  • Information v knowledge
  • Relationship with other causes of action
  • Dealing with the creation and transfer of confidential information in non-contentious situations
  • Breach
  • More...

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: What does IP completion day mean for Information Law?

Introduction to the laws protecting confidential information and trade secrets in the UK

Historically, the UK had no statutory regime to address the protection of trade secrets and other technical confidential information. Their protection derived from equitable common law principles. However, in 2016, the EU adopted Directive (EU) 2016/943 (OJ L 157/1) on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure (EU Trade Secrets Directive).

Chapter II of the EU Trade Secrets Directive sets out the circumstances in which trade secrets, as defined in Chapter I, may be lawfully acquired, used and disclosed, as well as the circumstances in which this will be unlawful. Article 6 (contained in Chapter III) then sets out the general obligation on Member States to ensure the availability of redress against the unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure of

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