The role of EU trade secrets law in the data economy: an empirical analysis

Aplin, Tanya; Radauer, Alfred; Bader, Martin A. and Searle, Nicola. 2023. The role of EU trade secrets law in the data economy: an empirical analysis. IIC - International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law, 58(6), pp. 826-858. ISSN 0018-9855 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article draws on a recently completed study for the European Commission on trade secrets in the data economy. It distils the main findings of that Study and advances it by reflecting on and analyzing these findings in the context of existing legal, management and economics literature, as well as their implications for EU legal policymaking when it comes to trade secrets law. In order to facilitate data sharing, the article argues for a cautious approach, with very modest legislative reforms to the EU Trade Secrets Directive, instead preferring soft law and practical steps to be taken. There is, however, greater scope to reform legal regimes that are complementary to EU trade secrets law, such as the sui generis database right.

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Additional Information:

The article draws on the empirical findings and some limited text from European Commission, European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency, Radauer, A, Bader, M A, Aplin, T, et al., Study on the legal protection of trade secrets in the context of the data economy: final report, Publications Office of the European Union, 2022, which was a piece of contract research for the European Commission (contract number EASME/2020/OP/0008).


Trade secrets, data economy, data sharing, EU legal policy, contract

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute for Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship (ICCE)


3 March 2023Accepted
10 May 2023Published Online
July 2023Published

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Date Deposited:

19 Apr 2023 10:05

Last Modified:

31 Jul 2023 13:46

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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