Other Rights

Confidentiality and Trade Secrets

Key point: A right to prevent misuse of confidential or secret information.

There are laws which protect the confidentiality of information. Companies or individuals may wish to keep commercial or technical information confidential, so for example, an employee has an obligation to keep all information confidential which is given to him by his employer. If this information is made public in breach of that confidence then it may be possible to bring an action for breach of confidence against the offending party.

If it is desired that confidential information be disclosed to a third party without loss of confidentiality, it should be ensured that the third party is told that they are expected to treat the information in confidence and that they agree to do so. In practical terms this agreement is best made in writing, in case there should ever be any dispute as to what was agreed.

There is one notable limitation to the protection of confidential information, whereby it may be allowable to disclose information in the public interest, even where there is an obligation of confidence

Plant variety rights

Key Point: A registered monopoly right in a new horticultural genus or species.

A plant or plant variety right may be obtained in relation to a new botanical genus or species by registration with the appropriate authority. In the United Kingdom, the right is granted under the Plant Varieties Act 1997.

A community plant variety right is obtainable which has effect in all member states of the European Community. This right is granted by the Community Plant Variety Office.


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