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New legal framework on protection of business secrets – Implementation of EU Directive 2016/943

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The law of 30 July 2018 implements EU Directive of 8 June 2016 on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure. Prior to this law, Belgium had no dedicated legal framework to protect undisclosed know how and business information. The law introduces a new set of rules through changes in the Economic law Code, the Judicial Code and the Law on Employment Contracts, entitling trade secret holders to apply for specific measures, procedures and remedies in order to prevent, or obtain redress for, the unlawful acquisition, use or disclosure of their trade secret. The definition of trade secrets covers know-how, business information and technological information where there is both a legitimate interest in keeping them confidential and a legitimate expectation that such confidentiality will be preserved. Neither the Directive nor the law are intended to affect the possibility of concluding non-competition agreements between employers and employees nor do they limit employees' use of experience and skills honestly acquired in the normal course of their employment. ■
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