AIRR Data Under the E.U. Trade Secrets Directive: Aligning Scientific Practices with Commercial Realities

The Harmonization and Protection of Trade Secrets in the E.U. (Jens Schovsbo, Timo Minssen & Thomas Riis eds.) (Edward Elgar, 2019 Forthcoming)

NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3249498

23 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2018

See all articles by Jacob S. Sherkow

Jacob S. Sherkow

New York Law School; Columbia University - Department of Health Policy and Management; Center for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law

Timo Minssen

University of Copenhagen - Centre for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law (CeBIL) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: September 14, 2018

Abstract

Whether the E.U. Trade Secrets Directive sufficiently and appropriately covers cutting-edge complex technologies is of critical interest to policy-makers, scientists, and commercial developers alike. One such technology — adaptive immune receptor repertoire sequencing, or AIRR-seq — raises difficult questions concerning what information is and should be protected under the new Directive, and how to best align scientific practices with commercial realities. The ‘raw’ form AIRR-seq data — massive genetic datasets of hundreds of millions of individuals’ immune cells — tends to be freely shared among academic researchers, thus typically destroying the protectability of the underlying information. But follow-on data — essentially, information interpreting that data — is nonetheless protectable under the Directive because it is both economically valuable and not readily available from an examination of the raw data itself. Protecting this follow-on information while encouraging the free sharing of AIRR-seq data best accords the purpose of the Trade Secrets Directive. Lessons from the case of AIRR-seq data also sheds light on other puzzles concerning the tensions between disclosure and various forms of legal protections, such as the mutual exclusivity of patents and trade secrets, the sharing of clinical trial data, and protecting genetic diagnostics.

Keywords: AIRR, immune receptor, antibodies, TCRs, EU, trade secrets, science, genetic data, big data, follow-on data, patents, clinical trials, diagnostics

JEL Classification: K00, K23, K41, O3, O34, D23, K11

Suggested Citation

Sherkow, Jacob S. and Minssen, Timo, AIRR Data Under the E.U. Trade Secrets Directive: Aligning Scientific Practices with Commercial Realities (September 14, 2018). The Harmonization and Protection of Trade Secrets in the E.U. (Jens Schovsbo, Timo Minssen & Thomas Riis eds.) (Edward Elgar, 2019 Forthcoming); NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3249498. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3249498 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3249498

Jacob S. Sherkow (Contact Author)

New York Law School ( email )

185 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
United States
212.431.2355 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.nyls.edu/faculty/faculty-profiles/faculty_profiles/jacob-s-sherkow/

Columbia University - Department of Health Policy and Management ( email )

600 West 168th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10032
United States

Center for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law ( email )

Studiestraede 6
Studiestrade 6
Copenhagen, DK-1455
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://jura.ku.dk/cebil/staff/

Timo Minssen

University of Copenhagen - Centre for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law (CeBIL) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Karen Blixens Plads 16
Copenhagen, 2300
Denmark
+46 708 607517 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://jura.ku.dk/cebil/staff/profile/?pure=en/persons/381631

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