Last week, MEPs voted for a new set of rules to protect businesses from misuse of trade secrets, by giving them the opportunity to defend their rights in court and seek compensation.
The new rules, which entered into force on the 14th April, introduce an EU-wide definition of trade secrets and aim to safeguard firms against the theft of confidential information.
One of the ways this could happen is through industrial espionage. Being an issue related to one of last week’s most discussed EU topics, we have chosen this expression as this week’s IATE term.
Industrial espionage can take many different forms. A general definition by the Oxford English Dictionary is “spying directed towards discovering the secrets of a rival industrial company, manufacturer, etc.”.
It is a peculiar kind of espionage, as it is conducted for commercial purposes, but it can create huge issues to the companies affected by it. Sadly, it is also extremely common: in 2013, 25% of European companies reported at least one case of misappropriation of trade secrets, according to the European Commission.
Therefore, the EP’s move was a necessary step towards a safer and more protected business environment. Although some argued that the new rules might restrict the work of journalists, MEPs ensured that freedom of expression and information will not be endangered, while it is important that industrial espionage is kept under control and severely sanctioned.
[su_note note_color=”#dcea0f”][su_button url=”https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1uYst_zhyitoihykb-suFoJzkWADn9qstUKq8lp1EIZU/viewform” style=”flat”]Contribute to IATE![/su_button] We would welcome your contribution if you know the correct term in your language and it is among the missing ones or if it needs an update. A terminologist for the respective language will revise your answer and validate it. Given the implications of the process, a delay is to be expected.
Languages to be completed for this term in IATE: ET, GA, HR, HU, LT, LV, MT, RO, SK, SL.[/su_note]
- European Parliament. 2015. European Parliament News. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/20160407IPR21787/Trade-secrets-protecting-businesses-safeguarding-the-right-to-information. [Accessed 15 January 16].
- European Parliament. 2014. www.europarl.europa.eu. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/note/join/2014/493055/IPOL-JURI_NT%282014%29493055_EN.pdf. [Accessed 22 April 16].
Written by Silvia Morani
Communication Trainee at TermCoord