Trade Secrets Trends

Trade Secrets Trends

Analysis and commentary on the latest developments in trade secrets protection, disputes, and enforcement

Jan-Diederik Lindemans

Jan-Diederik Lindemans Jan-Diederik Lindemans is a partner in Crowell & Moring's Brussels office. His practice focuses on intellectual property, trade secrets, and entertainment law. Although Jan-Diederik assists a wide variety of clients in predominantly contentious matters, the core of his clients range from the chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnological sectors to the advertising, media, entertainment, and fashion industries.

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Employee Who Stole the Cookie Recipe From the Cookie Jar Fined €1 (Yes, that’s one single Euro)

Posted in Criminal Prosecution, Cyberhacking, EU Regulation
The Criminal Court of Mechelen (Belgium) ruled in favor of Bofin Biscuits against a former production assistant accused of having stolen the assistant director of the cookie baker’s laptop. The laptop allegedly contained the secret recipes of all the cookies produced by Bofin Biscuits. This case is interesting because of the nature of the secrets… Continue Reading

DTSA UPDATE: Tips for Santa to Maintain Trade Secrets at the North Pole

Posted in Legislation & Policy
1.  Clearly label Christmas cards as “Confidential” if these contain secret wishes. 2.  Amend Confidentiality Agreements and Employee Manual to include the required Whistleblower language – those elves have rights. 3.  Have robust exit interviews with all departing elves, reminding them of their obligations to keep “reindeer games” secret. 4.  Insist that expert toy makers… Continue Reading

European Parliament Votes for Simple Cross-Border Trade Secret Law

Posted in EU Regulation, Legislation & Policy
Today, the European Parliament approved a Directive that seeks to simplify and harmonize the law on trade secrets throughout the European Union with a vast majority (503 in favor, 131 against and 18 abstentions). The Directive was first proposed in 2013. Although the initial proposal was deliberately kept ‘low profile,’ it was the subject of… Continue Reading

Santa’s 10 Considerations for Maintaining Trade Secrets at the North Pole

Posted in Data Protection, Legislation & Policy
Santa’s 10 considerations for maintaining trade secrets at the North Pole: Restrict access to facility by choosing remote location. Make the Elves sign Confidentiality Agreements as part of the hiring process. Have robust exit interviews with all departing elves, reminding them of their obligations to keep “reindeer games” secrets. Insist that gift wrapping specialists with prior… Continue Reading

Vroom vroom! Mercedes v Ferrari-bound Engineer

Posted in Non-Competes, U.S. Litigation
On December 7, 2015, Mercedes’ suit against Benjamin Hoyle, one of its former engineers who allegedly breached his employment contract and misappropriated confidential, trade secret information, was made public. Since 2012, Hoyle had been a member of Mercedes’ Performance Engineering Department working on the Mercedes’ High Performance Powertrain (HPP) Limited Formula One (F1) racing engines. Last year,… Continue Reading

AIPPI Publishes Rio-Resolution and Country Reports on Specific Aspects of Trade Secrets Enforcement

Posted in Legislation & Policy
The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) recently published the four resolutions that were adopted at its World IP Congress in Rio de Janeiro last month. These resolutions are based on the feedback received throughout 2015 from the national AIPPI-groups around the globe and on the panel discussion at the congress. Hereunder… Continue Reading

Reports on the TPP Agreement Suggest Focus on Criminal Law to Strengthen Trade Secret Protection

Posted in Legislation & Policy
On October 4, 2015 the trade ministers of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam announced that they concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). After more than five years of intensive negotiations, these countries representing a combined market of nearly 800 million people agreed to provide, among… Continue Reading

The Future of Trade Secret Protection in the EU: A Bird in The Hand is Still Worth Two in The Bush

Posted in EU Regulation, Legislation & Policy
The European lawmaker’s work on the draft Trade Secrets Directive, intended to create a uniform legal basis for the protection of trade secrets in the European Union, has entered the finishing straight. The proposal has been and still is subject to much debate at the highest policy and lawmaking level. There are indeed still quite… Continue Reading

EU Lays Foundation For Harmonized Trade Secret Protection Across Member States

Posted in EU Regulation
On November 28, 2013, the European Commission (EC) proposed a directive “on the protection of undisclosed know-how and confidential business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure.” If adopted, the directive will establish a common definition of “trade secrets” and set of remedies in all 28 European Union (EU) Member States. The proposed directive… Continue Reading