Confidentiality obligation enforced to protect trade secrets

In the case of Personnel Hygiene Services Ltd & ors v Rentokil Initial UK Ltd (t/a Initial Medical Services) & anr [2014] EWCA Civ 29, 29 January 2014, the Court of Appeal held that a judge had been entitled to find that a duty of confidentiality, which was expressly provided for by a previous confidentiality agreement, continued during and after a subcontract was entered into, even though the subcontract did not expressly police the use of confidential information.

The judge’s final injunction was upheld. This decision demonstrates that if a party can establish that information is truly confidential, then it is likely to benefit from wide protection. 

In early 2007, UK Hygiene entered into negotiations with a Rentokil company (trading as Initial Medical Services [Initial]) with a view to subcontracting hazardous waste bin services. In order to assess whether this relationship would work, UK Hygiene entered into a confidentiality agreement with Initial under which customers details could be exchanged…

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