The recent English Court of Appeal ruling to keep confidential information under wraps offers comfort to IP owners.
Peter Nunn and Chloe Hamilton have had an article published in IAM which explains how despite the principle of open justice in the English and Welsh courts, litigating in them does not have to be fatal to the secrecy of trade secrets. This has long been the position under common law and has been codified in statute since the EU's Trade Secrets Directive was implemented in the UK via the Trade Secrets (Enforcement, etc.) Regulations 2018.
The position was recently considered in JC Bamford Excavators Ltd v Manitou UK Ltd & Anor where the Court of Appeal had to balance open justice (which favoured disclosing Manitou's confidential information about how its machine worked in the judgment) against the importance of protecting trade secrets. The court decided that maintaining the secrecy of the information prevailed over the interests of open justice. The Manitou decision offers comfort to parties to litigation who are forced to disclose their trade secrets in order to either prosecute or defend a claim.
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