- Internal Market, Intellectual Property
General public, researchers, SME’s, trade associations and unions, public authorities.
- From 11.12.2012 to 08.03.2013 – (Closed/Abgeschlossen/Clôturée).
Keeping valuable information secret is often the only or the most effective way that companies have to protect their intellectual property (such as the results of their research and innovation efforts). Although patents play a decisive role in this area, there are limitations as to what can be patented. New business solutions, marketing data and many incremental technological improvements, for example, are not patentable). Concerns regarding the effectiveness of the legal protection against the misappropriation of trade secrets in the Internal Market are already being voiced.
The differences between national laws of Member States are claimed to be such as to make it difficult to ensure that the right protective measures against such misappropriation are being applied in cross-border business. The current redress possibilities are claimed not to represent a sufficiently strong deterrent against theft of such confidential business information. This could dissuade the sharing of confidential business information across borders with business partners who could offer valuable possibilities to develop new markets for innovative products.
In view of these concerns, the European Commission has decided to analyse the current situation in the Union in more detail and to collect views with regard to the protection of business and research know-how in the Union.
- Click here to see the trade secrets consultation document .
Reference documents and other related consultations
- You can click on the following link to view the Reference documents and other related consultations
- Responsible services:
- Internal Market and Services DG,
Unit D3 – Fight against counterfeiting and piracy
- Postal address:
- European Commission,
DG MARKT – Unit D3
Number of responses received to this consultation
386 contributions were received.
View the contributions
In the interests of transparency, organisations are invited to provide the public with relevant information about themselves by registering in the Interest Representative Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct. If the organisation is not registered, the submission will be published separately from the registered organisations.
- Click here to view the contributions
Results of consultation and next steps
- Click here to see the summary of responses .