19 | 07 | 2017
New Study by EUIPO “Protecting Innovation through Trade Secrets and Patents: Determinants for European Union Firms” published
The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) published the study titled ‘Protecting Innovation through Trade Secrets and Patents: Determinants for European Union Firms’.
The study is based on research conducted in 24 Member States of the European Union (including Croatia as well) investigating the economic significance of trade secrets and their relationship to the protection by patent, as one of industrial property rights. The study was prepared by EUIPO in collaboration with the Centre for European Economic Research in Mannheim, covering almost 200 000 firms operating across manufacturing or service industries in Europe.
One of the goals of research work was to determine the role and the importance of trade secret within intellectual property portfolio of firms operating in the European Union. One of the basic features of trade secret is that it is not limited to a set term as is usually the case with the majority of intellectual property rights, thus allowing for individual information of strategic importance to business entities to be protected for decades or potentially for an unlimited period of time. There is a wide range of subject matters that can be protected by trade secret – from drawings, designs, prototypes, over to non-patentable or non-patented inventions, and over to production processes, business methods and strategies etc. With trade secrets, there is no formal registration or related procedural costs, they are a good protection method for innovations in an early stage of their development, and innovative firms will often use a combination of trade secrets and patents (which is particularly useful with protection of complex innovations).
The research has shown that many firms would rather opt for a trade secret than apply for a patent, which can be observed in many economic sectors within the European Union.
The research presents the data for the Republic of Croatia as well, given in the tables on pages 27, 28 and 30 of the mentioned study.
The entire study is available at the following link.