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Law Of Confidence

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

Sometimes you may not be able to register a patent for your invention and therefore decided it’s best to keep it a secret.

The law of confidence acts to protect confidential information (not just information relating to inventions) and therefore means that a ‘public disclosure’ (releasing the information) of such information could be actionable.

There are two possible ways of protecting confidential information. The first is by way of contract; it is possible to have entered into a confidentiality agreement (or have provision for confidentiality within a contract), a breach of which would be a breach of contract.

You can find out more about breach of contracts here . Similarly, if this is in the context of employer-employee relationship, our Employment Team can advise on your best course of action.

The law does however also work to protect situations where no contract was entered into: the test again is in three parts, all of which must be satisfied.

It needs to be shown that the information had the necessary quality of confidence, that it was communicated in circumstances which would impart an obligation of confidence and lastly, that the third party has made an ‘unauthorised use’ of the information to the detriment of the person communicating it.

Remedies available include an injunction which can operate to prevent the use of information, damages and account of profits.

If you find yourself in the centre of a dispute give our Specialist Team a call.