Public Domain in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • EPI Environmental Technologies Inc. and Another v Symphony Plastic Technologies Plc and Another
    • Chancery Division
    • 21 Dic 2004

    In my judgment, what Lord Denning is saying is that a recipient of mixed information should take care only to use the public information. If he uses the private information he can only do so on pain of payment. Obviously the easiest way to establish that only public information has been obtained is to go to the public sources.

    Relying on Seager, Mr Hobbs QC submits by the provision of the additive itself EPI provided that product in confidence and that product and that provision in that way was confidential private information which Symphony could not use.

    If there is something secret or confidential which they thereby merely copied that would be actionable. However, a thing does not become confidential merely because it is supplied confidentially. However, take one example. Suppose EPI supplied Symphony with a formula for making a very special cake which would be very unique to EPI. A lot of the ingredients would be common ingredients, but it would be contended that the resultant product is arrived at by use of the secret formula.

  • Norbrook Laboratories Ltd v Bomac Laboratories Ltd
    • Privy Council
    • 04 May 2006

  • Fullam v Newcastle Chronicle and Journal Ltd
    • Court of Appeal
    • 24 Mar 1977,24 Mar 1977

    For instance, the facts may be very well known in the area of the newspaper's distribution - in which event I would think it would suffice to plead merely that the plaintiff will rely on inference that some of the newspaper's readers must have been aware of the facts which are said to give rise to the innuendo.

  • Hilton v Barker Booth & Eastwood (A Firm)
    • House of Lords
    • 03 Feb 2005

    Since he may not prefer one duty to another, he must perform both as best he can. This may involve performing one duty to the letter of the obligation, and paying compensation for his failure to perform the other. But in any case the fact that he has chosen to put himself in an impossible position does not exonerate him from liability.

  • Macris v Financial Conduct Authority
    • Supreme Court
    • 22 Mar 2017

    However, resort to information publicly available elsewhere is permissible only where it enables one to interpret (as opposed to supplementing) the language of the notice. What is not permissible is to resort to additional facts about the person so described so that if those facts and the notice are placed side by side it becomes apparent that they refer to the same person.

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