On June 7, 2018 the Legislative Decree no. 63 of May 11, 2018, issued in implementation of EU Directive 2016/943 on the protection of confidential know-how and confidential business information against the unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure. The new legislation will come into effect starting from June 22, 2018.


The decree in question introduces amendments – even substantial ones – to several provisions of the Italian Code of Industrial Property (articles 1, 98, 99, 124, 126, 132) and of the Italian Criminal Code (articles 388 and 623) and introduces a new article (121ter) to the Italian Code of Industrial Property (hereinafter also “c.p.i.”). Here below the most relevant news:


– the extension of the protection of know-how, obtained through the substitution of the terms “confidential company information” with the more general expression “trade secrets”;

– the introduction of two new paragraphs (1bis and 1ter) to art. 99 of c.p.i.: the offence is now extended to those who, at the time of acquisition, use and disclosure of trade secrets, were aware (or should have been) of the fact that the trade secrets were obtained from a third party who used them or he revealed unlawfully;

– the introduction of art. 121ter of c.p.i., which enables the judge – upon request of the party – to prevent the subjects who have access to the documents of the case (parties, attorneys, technical consultants, witnesses, etc.) from using disclosing the trade secrets object of the proceedings;

– the introduction of three new paragraphs (6bis, 6ter and 6quater) to art. 124 of c.p.i. which, on the one hand, put in writing the criteria that the judge must follow when ordering the corrective remedies and the civil penalties provided for by art. 124 (inhibitory, withdrawal from the market, destruction, etc.); on the other hand, they introduce the possibility – when specific conditions occur – to implement alternative measures to the mentioned ones, such as the payment of an indemnity which is appropriate to the prejudice suffered by the owner of the know-how;

– the extension of the crime referred to in art. 388 of the Italian Criminal Code, with the provision that even those who elude the execution of an injunction order that protects trade secrets are liable for the crime of fraudulent non-execution of an order of the judge;

– the reformulation of art. 623 of the Italian Criminal Code and the introduction, among the punishable conduct, of the abusive acquisition, disclosure and use of trade secrets.