Know-how or confidential business information (trade secrets) are important for the competitiveness of European businesses. These intangible assets are fundamental to their innovation and research efforts. Their adequate and harmonised protection across Europe therefore represents an invaluable factor for growth and jobs.
A Belgian research-based SME, a 3rd generation family-owned Italian stainless steel producer and a European SME association reflect on the importance of trade secrets, provide a practical case study and analyse how EU legislation will foster innovation and strengthen competitiveness in the EU.
Founded in 1925 in Vicenza, Italy, Valbruna is a 3rd generation family-owned business that has become a leading producer and distributor of bars and wires in stainless steel and special metal alloys, which are used in several different high-tech industries like the oil and gas, power generation and aerospace sectors.
Valbruana is one of the few remaining European stainless steel producers in Europe and has manufacturing facilities located in Italy in the cities of Vicenza and Bolzano. Valbruna has approximately 1500 employees and produces more than 170,000 metric tons of special high quality steels every year with consolidated annual sales of about 800 million Euros.