The Directive is pushing the companies to take measure to protect their know-how. These measures will be a prerequisite, if they want to avoid that said information  escapes from their control.


The Directive is not clear about the specific measure s to be taken to protect its secrets. However, in my practice, I have seen that it is advisable to do the following:

  • Indentify the information / know-how to be protected. This implies reviewing knowledge, data, documents …
  • Signal the secret information as such. So that anybody dealing with these information and documents is aware of it.
  • Fix, in written, the different levels of confidentiality of documents, and of employees. With clear and obligatory rules.


  • Apply protective measures for the confidential information, including software protection.
  • Apply confidentiality rules and policies; and review them periodically.
  • Make employees and contractors aware that the rules are obligatory.
  • Decide on responsible persons, who will control the working and application of the measures.

All these measure will help to protect companies’ Know How and to prove they are Trade Secrets.

  • Include confidentiality clauses in the contracts with employees and contractors.

Santiago Nadal