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In general terms the courts will act to prevent the confidential information of one party being used or disclosed by another party. For information to be classed as confidential, it must be something that is not in the public domain. If information is confidential, then it is important for the holder to treat it as such. Otherwise there is the risk that the courts will not assist the holder if a third party comes into possession of that information.

The rights existing in relation to confidential information cannot be used to prevent the reverse engineering of products (as this is viewed as being information in the public domain), nor to prevent a third party using and disclosing information that it created independently. Furthermore, the law will not usually prevent ex-employees from using confidential information learnt at their previous places of employment because this is viewed as restricting the ability of such employees to work. An exception to this is where the information obtained by the ex-employee is of such a particular and unique nature that it constitutes a trade secret. Intended disclosures of confidential information to third parties are best done on the terms of a confidentiality agreement or non-disclosure agreement.

Effect of Brexit on Confidential Information:

At this stage no effect is anticipated.

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