The law of confidential information is often used to protect the commercial value of sensitive materials and information and to prevent the recipients of confidential information from taking unfair advantage of it. The information must be confidential in nature and disclosed in circumstances importing an obligation of confidence. There must also be actual or threatened use or disclosure of the information in question.
The right to protect confidential information arises where there is a contractual relationship between the parties or where a disclosure of information takes place in circumstances where a reasonable person would have thought that the disclosure was confidential. An obligation of confidentiality may also be implied because of the nature of the relationship between the parties concerned, for example as between employer and employee.
Non-disclosure agreements are commonly used during the negotiation of commercial contracts where the parties would prefer that any information disclosed during the process remains within their control. In an employment context, an implied obligation of confidentiality ensures that sensitive commercial information which belongs to the company cannot be misappropriated by former employees and directors.
- Protection of confidential information
- Drafting and execution of non-disclosure agreements, confidentiality agreements and confidentiality clauses for commercial contracts
- Maintaining confidentiality in commercial relationships
- Advising on breach of confidence claims
- Ownership of confidential information
- The protection of trade secrets under the Trade Secrets Directive
- Unlawful acquisition, disclosure and use of trade secrets
- Advising on the use or disclosure of confidential information and potential liability for breach of confidence
- Duration of protection of confidential information
- Limits to the law of confidential information
- Restraint of trade considerations
- Enforcement and remedies
- Account of profits