Want to keep it secret? Use an NDA

Somewhat counterintuitively, not all ideas and concepts can be protected by “intellectual property” rights (such as copyright, designs etc.). Instead, such information may only be protected by keeping it confidential – but what happens if you wish to disclose that information to third parties? Well, this is where non-disclosure agreements come into play. Background It…

3 myths about confidential information

Uber has recently agreed to pay Waymo a settlement of $245 million in a trade secret dispute involving use of information concerning driverless car technology, unlawfully disclosed by an employee. While this only amounts to 0.34% of Ubers equity, exposure of commercially sensitive information can destroy a company. It can also result in unfair competition…

Are Carlsberg’s new beer patents controversial? Probably …

This year, the European Patent Office (EPO) granted three new patents to Carlsberg (EP2384110, EP2373154 and EP2575433) relating, broadly, to the harvest of kernels from barley plants, the process for brewing and the drinks produced by these methods. European patent law prohibits patents on plant varieties and breeding; however, notwithstanding these prohibitions, the patents have…

A – bit too much TalkTalk!! – £400,000.00 fine for data breach

The Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) has issued a record monetary penalty of £400,000 against telecommunications group TalkTalk under the Data Protection Act 1998. The fine is for serious contraventions of TalkTalk’s security obligations as a data controller under the Act which occurred in 2016 and which were well publicised. The decision is an indication that…

Breach of confidence claims against ex-employees

It’s not that unusual for an ex-employee to leave of and start a competing business. many employers rely on thinking that if that ex-employee contacts clients or uses confidential or trade secrets they will definitely be acting cheap jerseys unlawfully, especially if there are contractual conditions which clearly protect the employer. Not necessarily so, especially…