European Cybersecurity Directive moves closer to becoming a reality

The European Union's draft directive regarding network and information security ("the Directive") took one step closer to becoming law on 23 January 2014, when the Parliamentary Committee overseeing the development of the legislation voted to adopt a set of Compromise Amendments which will now move forward to a full vote by the European Parliament in a plenary session on 10 March 2014. If the Parliament votes in favour, this draft of the Directive will be negotiated with the European Commission and the Council.

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European Commission proposes rules for the protection of trade secrets

On November 28th, 2013 the European Commission published a proposal for the harmonisation of trade secrets protection in the European Union.

The "Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets)" (COM(2013) 813 final) was published only seven months after the release of the comprehensive "Study on Trade Secrets and Confidential Business Information in the Internal Market" (MARKT/2011/128/D). This study identified the great importance of trade secrets to small and medium-sized enterprises as well as start-ups, but an uneven level of their protection across the EU.

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EU: National courts are now bound by Commission decisions on State aid opening proceedings

Yesterday's State aid judgment of the Court of Justice has important practical consequences for beneficiaries of aid and their competitors. The latter will be able to benefit from easier ways to block the payment of aid, making the life of recipients of non-notified State aid more difficult.

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ECJ rules on applicable law of Employment Contract

The European Court of Justice has provided a useful reminder that where a contract of employment contains no choice of law clause, the law applicable will not always be the law of the country where the employee works. Under the Rome Convention, a national court can find the applicable law is that of another country with which the employee has a closer connection.

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ECJ rules that grid integrity and security may justify restrictions on free movement

In its judgment in Netherlands v. Essent and others of 22 October, the European Court of Justice held that Dutch rules imposing various restrictions on the ownership of transmission and distribution operators could be justified on public interest grounds, by way of derogation from EU free movement rules. The judgment provides support for the argument that other restrictions of fundamental EU freedoms may be justified in the interests of security of supply

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