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27the road towards the harmonisation of trade secrets law in the european unionPaul L. C. Torremans*I. Starting pointsTraditionally, trade secret protection has been left to the national laws of the Mem-ber States. In part, this was due to the very varied approaches. Only recently has there been a trend towards (minimal) harmonisation at the level of the European Union. There are also provisions in the international treaties that are relevant, but again these provisions have a rather narrow (harmonising) scope.In practice trade secrets have been gaining importance though. They are no longer seen mainly as the addendum to patent law and they have gained much more value and importance in their own right. Stories of (electronic) industrial espionage have only re-enforced the (perceived) need to protect trade secrets adequately. All this has brought about renewed attention for the topic of harmo-nisation of trade secrets law in the European Union. Previously, this was seen as difficult and...