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Chapter

Cover Intellectual Property Law

45. Obligation of Confidence  

L. Bently, B. Sherman, D. Gangjee, and P. Johnson

This chapter considers one requirement in a breach of confidence action: that the defendant was under a legal (as opposed merely to a moral) obligation of confidentiality. It first looks at the basic test for a confidence arising that is ‘knowledge’ or ‘notice’. More specifically, the chapter examines the duties that arise in different situations, such as where the parties are in a direct relationship, where there is an indirect relationship, and where no relationship exists.

Chapter

Cover Intellectual Property Law

46. Breach and Defences  

L. Bently, B. Sherman, D. Gangjee, and P. Johnson

This chapter examines the defences available where a duty of confidence has been breached. It begins by considering the scope of the obligation that must be ascertained to determine whether the duty of confidence has been breached. It then discusses three factors for a breach of confidence to occur: derivation, the defendant’s state of mind, and whether the breach has caused damage. The chapter also tackles secondary liability for breach of confidence before concluding with an examination of the implementation of the Trade Secrets Directive.

Chapter

Cover Intellectual Property Law

19. Breach of confidence: Trade secrets and private information  

This chapter studies breach of confidence. In the United Kingdom, the area of breach of confidence has traditionally been used to protect ideas and information, including trade secrets. The doctrine of breach of confidence is judge-made law, rooted in equitable principles. In consequence, it has developed in a piecemeal, and sometimes contradictory fashion, so that the rationale for the action has not always been clear. Nevertheless, the law of confidence is broad enough in the United Kingdom to encompass: the common definition of a trade secret (commercial, usually technical information); personal, private information which may also have a commercial value (including information which may be protected under the right to privacy under Art. 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)); and information protected by the state. The chapter then looks at the role of trade secrets in intellectual property law and considers the EU Trade Secrets Directive.

Chapter

Cover Holyoak and Torremans Intellectual Property Law

29. Confidentiality and trade secrets  

This chapter discusses law on confidentiality and trade secrets. It covers the historical development of the law of breach of confidence; the three essential elements necessary in a claim for breach of confidence; remedies for breach of confidence; and the impact of the internationalization of the law of intellectual property.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

Attorney General v Jonathan Cape Ltd [1976] QB 752, High Court (Queen’s Bench Division)  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Attorney General v Jonathan Cape Ltd [1976] QB 752, before the High Court (Queen’s Bench Division). This case concerns the constitutional convention of collective Cabinet responsibility which requires, inter alia, that Cabinet discussions remain secret, whether the publication of a diary detailing Cabinet discussions breached the convention, and what the constitutional consequences of any breach were. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Contract Law

Royal Bank of Scotland v Etridge (No.2) [2001] UKHL 44  

Essential Cases: Contract Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Royal Bank of Scotland v Etridge (No. 2) [2001] UKHL 44. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Nicola Jackson.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

Attorney General v Jonathan Cape Ltd [1976] QB 752, High Court (Queen’s Bench Division)  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Attorney General v Jonathan Cape Ltd [1976] QB 752, before the High Court (Queen’s Bench Division). This case concerns the constitutional convention of collective Cabinet responsibility which requires, inter alia, that Cabinet discussions remain secret, whether the publication of a diary detailing Cabinet discussions breached the convention, and what the constitutional consequences of any breach were. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Contract Law 5e

Royal Bank of Scotland v Etridge (No.2) [2001] UKHL 44  

Essential Cases: Contract Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Royal Bank of Scotland v Etridge (No. 2) [2001] UKHL 44. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Nicola Jackson.

Chapter

Cover Street on Torts

22. Privacy actions in tort  

This chapter examines the privacy action in tort. It explains that the tort has its origins in the equitable wrong of breach of confidence. It discusses the gist and elements of this tort and highlights the influence of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights on the case law. The law now protects against infringements of private information and against infringements upon the seclusion of the individual. This chapter also discusses potential defences, which include consent to the disclosure and the differential treatment of private information in the public domain.

Chapter

Cover O'Sullivan & Hilliard's The Law of Contract

11. Undue influence  

Titles in the Core Text series take the reader straight to the heart of the subject, providing focused, concise, and reliable guides for students at all levels. This chapter examines undue influence in a contract, which is a vitiating factor and also a ground of restitution. It explains that undue influence is hard to define and can more easily be recognised when found than exhaustively analysed in the abstract. This chapter investigates how undue influence is proved by means of a rebuttable presumption based on a relationship of trust and confidence coupled with a transaction that calls for an explanation, and how the resulting presumption is rebutted. It then covers the remedy of rescission for undue influence. Finally it explores undue influence in three-party cases, where relief depends on whether the contracting party had notice, actual or constructive, of the undue influence and whether it had taken reasonable steps.

Chapter

Cover Lunney & Oliphant's Tort Law

13. Privacy  

Donal Nolan and Ken Oliphant

The right of privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights was incorporated into English law by the Human Rights Act 1998, but English law as yet recognises no tort of invasion of privacy as such. Admittedly, a number of specific torts protect particular aspects of privacy, but this protection may be regarded as haphazard, incidental and incomplete. Recent decisions, however, have seen substantial developments in the protection given to particular privacy interests, above all by adapting the law of breach of confidence to provide a remedy against the unauthorised disclosure of private information. These issues are discussed in sequence in this chapter.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law: Text and Materials

14. Privacy  

The right of privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights was incorporated into English law by the Human Rights Act 1998, but English law as yet recognises no tort of invasion of privacy as such. Admittedly, a number of specific torts protect particular aspects of privacy, but this protection may be regarded as haphazard, incidental, and incomplete. Recent decisions, however, have seen substantial developments in the protection given to particular privacy interests, above all by adapting the law of breach of confidence to provide a remedy against the unauthorised disclosure of personal information. These issues are discussed in this chapter.

Chapter

Cover Intellectual Property Law

44. Is the Information Capable of Being Protected?  

L. Bently, B. Sherman, D. Gangjee, and P. Johnson

This chapter looks at the type of information that is capable of being protected by the action for breach of confidence. More specifically, it examines four limitations that are placed on the type of information that may be protected under the action: where the information is trivial, immoral, vague, or in the public domain. The chapter also considers the notion of ‘relative secrecy’ along with issues associated with encrypted information and the so-called `springboard’ doctrine.

Chapter

Cover Intellectual Property Law

9. Breach of Confidence  

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter focuses on the action for breach of confidence as it relates to commercial secrets. It first considers the jurisdictional basis of the action for breach of confidence and then discusses the elements for establishing a breach of confidence. The first element is that there must be confidential information; the second element is that the defendant comes under an obligation of confidence; the third element of a breach of confidence requires an unauthorized use of the information to the detriment of the person communicating it. The chapter also reviews the main confidentiality obligations that apply to employees and ex-employees with regards to commercial secrets. Finally, the chapter considers UK implementation of the Trade Secrets Directive and its relationship to breach of confidence.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Public Law

9. Freedom of expression  

The Q&A series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each chapter includes typical questions, diagram problem and essay answer plans, suggested answers, notes of caution, tips on obtaining extra marks, the key debates on each topic, and suggestions on further reading. This chapter moves on from the previous one to examine the freedom of expression. Under common law, freedom of speech is guaranteed unless the speaker breaks the law, but this is now reinforced by the right of free expression under the European Convention on Human Rights. The questions here deal with issues such as obscenity law and contempt of court; the Official Secrets Act; freedom of information; data protection; breach of confidence; and whether there is a right of privacy in English law.

Chapter

Cover Markesinis & Deakin's Tort Law

22. The Protection of Human Privacy  

This chapter discusses violations of human privacy by private individuals and organisations. This is a rapidly evolving area of the law, one which has, like defamation, been influenced to a great extent by developments in communication technology, as well as in human rights law. And like defamation, this area of the law too raises important questions about the role, and conduct, of the press. The discussion in this chapter is divided as follows: (1) the difficulties of defining privacy; (2) the casuistic protection afforded by English law; (3) the protection afforded in the most important types of cases; (4) the growth of breach of confidence after the entry into force of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the emergence in recent years of the ‘distinct’ tort of misuse of private information; (5) Europe and beyond.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law

16. Invasion of privacy  

This chapter examines the nascent ‘tort’ of invasion of privacy. It first considers why no free-standing tort of invasion of privacy exists, before looking at breach of confidence—a legal concept straddling tort and equity and concerned with ‘secrets’ and judicially adapted to protect privacy by developing the new tort of misuse of private information. The chapter then asks whether developments in the law protecting privacy—particularly in the wake of the Human Rights Act 1998—threaten freedom of expression and therefore the general public’s ‘right’ to information, particularly about celebrities, including royalty and politicians.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Intellectual Property

17. Breach of confidence  

This chapter discusses contemporary law and policy relating to the protection of confidential information. It considers the key elements of breach of confidence: the nature of confidential information, circumstances imparting obligations of confidence, and unauthorised use of confidential information. The chapter also considers the increasing impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998). The chapter summarises some key cases to give examples of the issues that arise (eg in the employment context), discusses the evolving relationship between secrecy and innovation, and the impact of other forms of information control. The impact of Trade Secrets Directive, including post-Brexit, is also discussed.

Chapter

Cover The Changing Constitution

6. Parliament: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times?  

Philip Norton

Parliament fulfils functions that are long-standing, but its relationship to government has changed over time. It has been criticized for weakness in scrutinizing legislation, holding government to account, and voicing the concerns of the people. Despite changes in both Houses in the twentieth century, the criticisms have persisted and in some areas Parliament has seen a constriction in its scope for decision-making. The twenty-first century has seen significant steps that have strengthened both Houses in carrying out their functions, the House of Commons in particular acquiring new powers. Members of both Houses have proved willing to challenge government. It remains a policy-influencing legislature, but a stronger one than in the preceding century. While strengthening its position in relation to the executive, it has faced major challenges in its relationship to the public. It has seen a greater openness in contact with citizens, but has had to contend with popular dissatisfaction and declining levels of trust.

Chapter

Cover Legal Systems & Skills

10. Persuasive oral communication and presentations  

Scott Slorach, Judith Embley, Peter Goodchild, and Catherine Shephard

This chapter provides an understanding of why students and professional lawyers need good oral communication skills. It explains the difference between verbal skills and non-verbal skills such as eye contact and body language. It then shows students how to develop these skills to have their voice heard. Guidance is provided about how to deliver an effective presentation during legal studies, whether in class, for an assessment, or otherwise, such as in a law clinic. It then proceeds to consider how to develop these skills for practice, and provides guidance as to why, when, and how a lawyer must employ persuasive oral communication with clients. The particular issues arising from online communication, such as on Teams and Zoom calls, are explored.