An Appraisal of the EU Directive
Edited by Jens Schovsbo, Timo Minssen and Thomas Riis
Chapter 13: AIRR data under the EU Trade Secrets Directive: aligning scientific practices with commercial realities
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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