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Chapter

Cover Principles of Banking Law

9. The Duty of Confidentiality  

Ross Cranston, Emilios Avgouleas, Kristin van Zweiten, Theodor van Sante, and Christoper Hare

This chapter discusses the legal duty of confidentiality (or secrecy) that banks owe their customers. The real problems in the application of the doctrine in practice are two-fold. First, confidentiality has a habit of getting in the way of commercially acceptable practices. There is the potential for breaches of confidentiality where a bank performs different functions. For instance, banks may like to distribute information throughout the corporate group so that a range of financial, insurance, and other services can be marketed to customers. Secondly, confidentiality can act as a cloak for wrongdoing, often on a massive scale. Political leaders who have exploited their people, drug barons, and criminals have used the banking system to spirit away their ill-gotten gains. Bank confidentiality has then acted as an obstacle to bringing the culprits to justice and recovering the booty. Confidentiality also provides one of the explanations of how international terrorists have transferred financing round the world without detection.

Chapter

Cover Medical Law

8. Confidentiality and Data  

This chapter examines the ethical justifications for protecting patient confidentiality. It then discusses the different legal sources of the duty of confidence; exceptions to the duty of confidence; and the remedies available for its breach. It briefly considers patients’ rights to gain access to their medical records. Finally, the chapter covers the implications of ‘big data’ and machine learning for healthcare, and the increasing use of mobile technology in order to generate, store and transmit health data.

Chapter

Cover Mason and McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics

11. Medical Confidentiality and Data Protection  

A. M. Farrell and E. S. Dove

This chapter covers two legal regimes in the biomedical context that are of increasing importance and complexity: the common law duty of confidentiality and data protection law. Both regimes have experienced significant development in the past generation. As part of this exploration, brief consideration will also be given to a third related and emerging legal regime, namely the tort of ‘misuse of private information’. The central focus of the chapter is the interplay between UK data protection law, the duty of confidentiality, and wider frameworks in Europe and at the international level. A range of sources are considered, including case law, primary, and secondary legislation such as the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002, UK General Data Protection Regulation, and Data Protection Act 2018; guidance from entities such as the General Medical Council; and academic literature. The chapter illustrates that following both Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, medical confidentiality and data protection law are undergoing a state of reform that may have significant implications for patient privacy and trust in the healthcare system.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Intellectual Property

17. Breach of confidence  

This chapter discusses contemporary law and policy relating to the protection of confidential information, under the common law. 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) and the relevance of international perspectives and approaches. The chapter summarises some key cases to give examples of the issues that arise, discusses the evolving relationship between secrecy and innovation, and the impact of other forms of information control and the relevance of freedom of expression.

Book

Cover Intellectual Property Law

Lionel Bently, Brad Sherman, Dev Gangjee, and Phillip Johnson

Intellectual Property Law provides a detailed analysis of intellectual property law with reference to a wide range of academic opinion, giving a broad context for exploring the key principles of the subject. The book covers a number of areas of intellectual property law including copyright, patents, the legal regulation of designs, trade marks and passing off, confidential information, misuse of private information, and litigation and remedies. In this sixth edition, the introduction has been updated to take account of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. Important developments covered include CJEU decisions on the concept of a copyright work, communication to the public, digital exhaustion and defences, and the Court of Appeal’s analysis of joint authorship.

Chapter

Cover Mason and McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics

6. Medical Confidentiality  

G. T. Laurie, S. H. E. Harmon, and E. S. Dove

This chapter discusses ethical and legal aspects of medical confidentiality. It covers the relationship between confidentiality and data protection law; the possible exceptions to the confidentiality rule; confidentiality and the legal process; confidentiality for the purposes of medical research; patient access to medical records; remedies for breach of confidentiality; and confidentiality and death.

Book

Cover Intellectual Property Concentrate
Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. Intellectual Property Concentrate is the essential study and revision guide for intellectual property law students. The clear, succinct coverage enables you to quickly grasp the fundamental principles of this area of law and helps you to succeed in exams. After an introduction to intellectual property and common themes, the book covers: copyright; computer programs and databases; moral rights; performers’ rights; trade secrets and confidential information; patents; designs; and passing-off and trade marks. Written by experts and covering all the key topics so you can approach your exams with confidence, the book is: clear, concise, and easy to use, helping you get the most out of your revision; full of learning features and tips to show you how best to impress your examiner; and accompanied by online resources including multiple-choice questions and interactive flashcards to test your understanding of topics. Its ‘Exam essentials’ feature prepares you for your intellectual property law exam by giving help and guidance on how to approach questions, structure answers, and avoid common pitfalls.

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.

Book

Cover Intellectual Property Law
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. Intellectual Property Law: Text, Cases, and Materials provides a complete resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students of intellectual property (IP) law. The only text of its kind in the field, it combines extracts from major cases and secondary materials with critical commentary from experienced teachers in the field. The book deals with all areas of IP law in the UK: copyright, trade marks and passing off, personality and publicity rights, character merchandising, confidential information and privacy, industrial designs and patents. It also tackles topical areas, such as the application of IP law to new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, and the impact of the internet on trade marks, copyright, and privacy. While the focus of the book is on IP law in a domestic context, it provides international, EU, and comparative law perspectives on major issues, and also addresses the wider policy implications of legislative and judicial developments in the area. The book is an ideal resource for all students of IP law who need cases, materials, and commentary in a single volume.

Book

Cover Intellectual Property Law

Stavroula Karapapa and Luke McDonagh

Intellectual Property Law aims to provide a comprehensive text on all aspects of this field. The first part looks at the complexities of copyright law, from authorship and first ownership to infringements and defences. It also covers moral and related rights. The second part looks exclusively at passing off. Then the text turns to trade marks. It examines the absolute grounds for refusal and the relative grounds for refusal of registration. It looks in detail at infringement and loss of registration of trade marks, and this part of the book ends with an examination of defences to trade mark infringement. The next part is about patents. After an introduction to patents the text analyses ownership and infringement of patents. The text then moves on to confidential information, in other words, trade secrets. Designs are examined after this. The final few chapters are about the exploitation and enforcement of intellectual property. The text concludes.

Chapter

Cover Selwyn's Law of Employment

19. Duties of Ex-employees  

This chapter considers the duties of ex-employees, ie the obligations which apply to an employee who is about to leave his employment (whether voluntarily or otherwise), or who has actually left that employment. The law must strike a delicate balance. On the one hand, an employee has a right to earn his living, and knowledge and skills obtained in his former employment will doubtless enable him to continue to do so; on the other hand, an employer is entitled to limited protection against an employee who may well be seeking to compete. It includes garden leave, trade secrets and confidential information, restraint of trade, and working for competitors.

Chapter

Cover Human Rights Law Directions

20. Applications: police powers  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. It discusses European Convention law and relates it to domestic law under the HRA. Questions, discussion points, and thinking points help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress and knowledge can be tested by self-test questions and exam questions at the chapter end. This chapter focuses on the authority of the police in the United Kingdom and on issues which are affected by human rights law under the HRA. Police powers are exercised with the authority of both common law and statute—the latter (e.g. the Police and Public Evidence Act 1984) must be interpreted for compatibility with Convention rights so far as section 3 HRA allows. The police are considered a ‘core’ public authority, and policing is self-evidently a public function. The following sections also discuss the extensive powers of the police in relation to, in particular, Article 5, regarding arrest and detention, and Article 8, regarding searches and seizure. English and Welsh courts adjudicating on these powers have generally found them to be compatible with Convention rights at the general level. Some important cases, such as over the retention, storage and use of personal data, have led to disagreements with Strasbourg and consequential changes to the law.

Chapter

Cover Human Rights Law Directions

22. Applications: media law and privacy  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. It discusses European Convention law and relates it to domestic law under the HRA. Questions, discussion points, and thinking points help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress and knowledge can be tested by self-test questions and exam questions at the chapter end. This chapter deals with human rights and the media. It considers the widespread tension between, on the one hand, the importance in a democratic society of freedom of expression and, on the other, the rights of persons to protect their various interests, particularly when these involve matters of privacy and confidentiality. The importance of the media is fully recognised by the European Court of Human Rights, and Convention rights have had a significant impact, both directly and indirectly, on media law. However, the issue often involves balancing the clear commitment to media freedom derived from Article 10 with other rights such as those in Article 8.

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.