Thank you to those that attended the EU Commission Industry Days in Brussels. Here are the main takeaways of our keynote: 

  • The 4th industrial revolution is well ahead, and there is no way back. In this new connected and data driven world, intangible assets will hold increasing strategic value in any sector. 
  • Such assets require a proper balance of IP protection (for inventions and technical solutions through patents and trade secrets, for software and AI through copyright, "CII" patents and also trade secrets, for brand identity through trademarks and trade names, for general creativity through copyright and design).
  • IP protection is however not sufficient. A proper information and data management governance is also required. This is not just about GDPR compliance, but also about protection of other (more or less) general information and data that may also amount to a trade secret, under EU Trade Secrets Directive.
  • A holistic approach is required: data privacy and IP strategies should be jointly devised, complying with the accountability, privacy by design and privacy by default principles (GDPR), but also taking reasonable steps to protect sensitive information and avoid the risk of negligent infringement of third party’s secrets (Trade Secrets Directive).
  • Appropriate practical measures (eg. ad hoc corporate policies, confidentiality undertakings and contracts) must be taken to ensure that any company, regardless of its group dimension, can safely grasp the benefits of the 4th industrial revolution and increase its value.