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What new regulation will bring for trade secret holders

Arguably, confidential information (including trade secrets) plays a significant role in the digital economy. Admitting its importance, the European Parliament and the Council on 8 June 2016 adopted a Directive (EU) 2016/943 on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure (the “Trade Secrets Directive”). Many stakeholders welcomed this initiative to harmonize trade secrets protection throughout the EU as previously it was exceptionally fragmented – it varied greatly from country to country – and the whole picture resembled a patch or mosaic.

Accordingly, the aim of the said directive is to strengthen and to harmonise legal protection of trade secrets in the EU in order to promote innovation, simplify cross-border cooperation between business and research partners and boost the competitiveness of the EU economy.

Recently, with the deadline (9 June 2018) for the implementation of the Trade Secrets Directive approaching, the EU Member States are rushing to incorporate its provisions into their national laws. Lithuania is no exception in this case.

On 24 April 2018 the Lithuanian Parliament adopted an entirely new Law on the Legal Protection of Trade Secrets (the “Law”) and, alongside this, made some amendments to the Civil Code and to the Civil Procedure Code. The brand new Law and the amendments to the existing laws will come into force this week – on 1 June 2018. Thus, it is a good occasion to review the new legal regime that will protect trade secrets in Lithuania from the next month.

In general, the new national regulation is almost a literal transposition of the Trade Secrets Directive – mostly the translation and adaptation of the directive’s text. It should be mentioned at the outset that the existing legal framework in Lithuania (including case-law) was quite in line with the Trade Secrets Directive and does not require drastic changes. However, some important provisions had to be added in order to duly implement the said directive and to make it easier for trade secret holders to protect and enforce their rights.

5 key novelties you should know can be found here.

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