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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.