The UK Government has issued its response to the outcome of the technical consultation on the implementation of the Trade Secrets Directive in the UK, which ended on 16 March 2018. The document published today summarises the responses received from various stakeholders during the consultation process and contains the Government's response to these consideration, proving useful guidance on how the Government intends to implement the Trade Secrets Directive.

In a nutshell, even though many stakeholder representatives were of the view that no transposition of the directive into UK law was necessary (as they felt that the UK system for protecting Trade Secrets worked well), the Government reiterated its view that it is indeed necessary to implement a number of provisions of the Trade Secrets Directive to ensure a consistent and effective regime. With this in mind, the draft regulations will include (inter alia)

  • definitions aligned with those in the directive,
  • time periods and limits to bring proceedings and interim orders,
  • provisions on confidentiality in court proceedings,
  • provisions on civil remedies,
  • provisions on compensation and damages,
  • provisions on the publication of judgements, and
  • provisons clarifying the exeptions set out in the directive (e.g. for whistleblowers).

According to the Intellectual Property Office's website, the Government intends to have the parliament voted on the draft regulations concerning trade secrets in May 2018, aiming for a timely implementation of the Trade Secrets Directive (which needs to be transposed into national law by 9 June 2018 at the latest).

Even though the Government's final proposal for the draft regulations to implement the Trade Secrets Directive ist not yet available, the Government's responses to the consultation indicate that an implementation that is, in general, in line with and close to the wording of the Directive will be sought. This would be good news for trade secret owners in Europe, as it will provide consistency and legal certainty for the cross-border enforcement of trade secret missappropriation.