Public Domain in UK Law

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

  • The Good Law Project v Minister for the Cabinet Office
    • Queen's Bench Division (Technology and Construction Court)
    • 09 Jun 2021

    The fact that individuals at Public First were known to and had worked with those involved in the decision making, including the Defendant and Mr Cummings, is insufficient to establish apparent bias. Having regard to the specialised nature of the public policy and communications research industry, it is unsurprising that those involved might have developed professional and/or personal friendships over the years working within government departments.

    However, the existence of personal connections between the Defendant, Mr Cummings and the directors of Public First was a relevant circumstance that might be perceived to compromise their impartiality and independence in the context of a public procurement.

  • Fullam v Newcastle Chronicle and Journal Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 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.

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