Trade Secrets & Confidentiality

Members of chambers regularly work in the area of breach of confidence and misappropriation of trade secrets, alongside questions of privilege and data protection.

We are able to offer a wide range of technical and scientific expertise over a large variety of disciplines in cases involving the misuse of technical information. Members of chambers were involved on both sides of the well-known case of Vestergaard Frandsen v Bestnet (insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets) which went to the Supreme Court.

We are also well-equipped to deal with issues of confidentiality within wider intellectual property claims.  Members of chambers have extensive experience in protecting trade secrets and commercially sensitive information during the course of litigation, including confidentiality clubs in patent cases, and in dealing with issues of legal professional privilege. We have been involved in a number of cases in this area including Prince Jefri Bolkiah v KPMG (the leading House of Lords decision on ‘Chinese walls’), Surface Technology v Young (assignment of rights of confidence and privilege), Dyson v Hoover (disclosure obligations in damages inquiry) and IBM v Phoenix (inadvertent loss of privilege).

We also have experience in acting in non-technical cases, including proposed TV show formats, the contents of unpublished books and confidential personal information. High profile cases of this nature include Bloomsbury v News Group (Harry Potter books), Prince of Wales v Associated Newspapers (Prince Charles’ private diaries) and Secretary of State for Defence v Guardian Newspapers and X v Y (protection of newspaper sources).

Members of Chambers frequently act in cases involving ex-employees, covering areas of law extending beyond pure intellectual property, such as breach of fiduciary duty, breaches of restrictive covenants and potential economic torts. Examples include Invista Textile v Adriana Botes (breach of contract or equitable obligations in computer records) MVF 3 APS v Bestnet (lawful competition on the basis of earlier misused confidential information).

Additionally, members of chambers are able to accept instructions on the new GDPR rules and on data protection more generally.