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Contracts of employment: Use of trade secret breached duty of confidence

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Lancashire Fires Ltd v SA Lyons & Co Ltd and others [1997] IRLR 113 CA (0 other reports)

In Lancashire Fires Ltd v S A Lyons & Co Ltd and others [1997] IRLR 113 the Court of Appeal holds that an employee with access to confidential information about a manufacturing process unique to his employer's business acted in breach of his duty of fidelity by making preparations to set up in business on his own account using that process. Furthermore, the information was so confidential that it amounted to a trade secret, and consequently he was bound by an obligation not to use that information after his employment terminated. The Court emphasises that the employee in this case was fully aware that parts of his employer's production process were confidential, and that the High Court took too strict a view of the degree of precision with which the employer should have defined and communicated the aspects of production which were to be treated as a trade secret.