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Fragrance industry welcomes EU Parliament endorsement for ‘know-how’ directive
Fragrance industry welcomes EU Parliament endorsement for ‘know-how’ directive

IFRA (International Fragrance Association) welcomes today’s decision by the EU Parliament to endorse the compromise reached with the Council last December on the proposed Directive on the protection of undisclosed know-how and confidential business information (trade secrets).

The creation of a new fragrance, whether for a luxury perfume, a shampoo or a detergent, may require months if not years and hundreds of trials. Thousands of fragrance houses, big and small, rely on trade secrets to protect the know-how invested in the harvesting or manufacturing of raw materials, their selection and transformation into fragrant products. This know-how, the lifeblood of our industry, is particularly vulnerable to unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure.

“What is particularly helpful for our sector,” said Pierre Sivac, IFRA President, “is the provision, clarified by the Parliament during the legislative process, that the Directive covers the unlawful use of information even when legally acquired. Our industry is particularly vulnerable to the misuse of information gathered legitimately by commonplace reverse engineering practices but then used in an unlawful way. This could include the launch of an identical copy or a client using the information to help a competitor create the same composition more cheaply,” he explained.

This Directive will help fragrance houses, large and small protect their considerable investments in know-how and foster continued innovation in a very fast moving, competitive and successful sector further strengthening Europe’s leading position.