The Harmonization and Protection of Trade Secrets in the EU
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The Harmonization and Protection of Trade Secrets in the EU

An Appraisal of the EU Directive

Edited by Jens Schovsbo, Timo Minssen and Thomas Riis

This book addresses the growing importance of trade secrets in today's society and business and the related increase in litigation, media and scholarly attention, using the new EU Trade Secrets Directive as a prism through which to discuss the complex legal issues involved. Written by a team of international experts, it discusses and analyses national implementation of the Directive and explores the effects of the new regime on contentious issues and crucial sectors such as big data and AI.
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Chapter 13: AIRR data under the EU Trade Secrets Directive: aligning scientific practices with commercial realities

Jacob S. Sherkow and Timo Minssen

Abstract

Whether the EU Trade Secrets Directive sufficiently and appropriately covers cutting-edge complex technologies is of critical interest to policymakers, scientists and commercial developers alike. This chapter focuses on one such technology – adaptive immune receptor repertoire sequencing, or AIRR-seq – and discusses difficult questions concerning what information is and should be protected under the new Directive, and how to best align scientific practices with commercial realities. The authors argue that protecting follow-on information while encouraging the free sharing of AIRR-seq data best accords with the purpose of the Trade Secrets Directive. Lessons from the case of AIRR-seq data are used to shed light on other puzzles concerning the tensions between disclosure and various forms of legal protections, such as the mutual exclusivity of patents and trade secrets, the sharing of clinical trial data and protecting genetic diagnostics.

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