Confidential information and soft IP

Littleton has long standing experience and expertise in cases involving confidential information/ trade secrets/ soft IP.

Littleton members regularly advise on and assist in the drafting of confidentiality provisions in employment and commercial contracts.

Confidential information issues arise in both employment and commercial cases and Littleton barristers cover the full range of business sectors

Key cases incldue:


  • Wallace Bogan v Cove [1997] IRLR 453(CA)
  • National Westminster Bank v Bonas and Brice Droogleever [2003] EWHC 1821 (Ch)

Accountants; medical practitioners, recruitment, City trading/broking, sports

  • Ferrari SPA v M and T Coughlan (2007) (Ch)

Pharmaceuticals, photography, mobile phone industry, power tools

  • Duarte v Black & Decker [2007] EWHC 2720

Food distribution

  • Brake Brothers v Ungless [2004] EWHC 2799)

Spread betting

  • William Hill v Tucker [1999] ICR 291 

Littleton barristers have experience in dealing with cases involving database regulations, copyright, design rights and image rights and passing off. 

Key cases include:

  • Intelsec Systems Limited & ors v Grech-Cini & ors (1999) 4 All ER 1, copyright, confidential information, passing off
  • Penwell Publishing v Ornstein [2007] IRLR 700 database regulations and MS Outlook email contacts
  • Python (Monty) Pictures Ltd v Paragon Entertainment (1998) EMLR 640 Intellectual property rights dispute over Monty Python's 1979 film Life of Brian

In the commercial context, cases involving confidential information often straddle different types of  intellectual property so that members of chambers may represent clients in relation to confidential information aspects (and other areas such as economic torts) of cases, alongside other counsel who specialise in “hard” intellectual property matters, such as patents and registration of design rights issues.