To speak to a solicitor about protecting confidential information, get in touch by calling 0333 323 5292 or fill in the enquiry form on this page and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Why Protecting Confidential Information is Important
Confidential information, while not an intellectual property right in itself, is the right to enforce obligations of confidentiality is a crucial component of any intellectual property strategy. Not only does the right to protect confidential ideas, trade secrets, know-how and other proprietary information fill in many of the gaps in the protection offered by even the most rigorous programme of intellectual property protection, the decision to maintain and enforce confidentiality can on occasions be a preferable course to those protections such as patents, which are granted only at the cost of eventual full disclosure to the world.
We understand the importance for businesses to keep confidential information protected at all times. Our solicitors will run through all the methods of protection that are available to you, including what their limits are, so you can make a full decision on which intellectual property strategy is most suited to your business.
When you decide to contact Lupton Fawcett, you can rest assured that you will receive a professional and pragmatic service. We have been involved in making decision for many companies, including those in Yorkshire and beyond. Our service has been commended by legal profession guides Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500.
Data Protection and Privacy
The law of data protection is undergoing a period of rapid and revolutionary change. No longer a matter of a form-fill, in an environment where little enforcement takes place, data protection strategy and compliance is now a major area of focus for modern businesses, reflecting not only the exponential growth in the importance of data but also the draconian consequences of non-compliance.
Our team has a long history of advising businesses on data strategy and compliance requirements, as well as dealing with the consequences of non-compliance.
Allied to data protection law is the growing law of privacy, as individuals and legislators grasp and seek to control the extent to which our lives are transformed into data and exploited in that form by businesses, charities and governments. Our team advises both individuals and organisations on compliance and enforcement in this highly sensitive area of modern life.
Some databases, where they represent the intellectual creation of some individual or group of collaborators, can be protected by copyright. However, most databases come into being more through business processes than creative thought, and the real investment made by the business compiling them is less in the creation of the information or of the database as an intellectual construct in itself, but rather in operating a process of compiling the information and then organising that information in the database. In those circumstances, where there has been a substantial investment in obtaining, verifying or presenting the contents of the database, the database rights will apply and belong to the maker of that investment.
This is a comparatively new right created by European Law to protect a new type of property, namely, organised collections of data. There remain uncertainties over both what is protected (for instance, if the investment made by the business owning the database is only in the creation rather than the organisation of the data, the right will probably not apply) and in the precise nature of the protection offered. While the right prevents the re-utilisation or extraction of any substantial part of the contents of the database, the extent to which it applies the protection to the information itself by virtue of its having been in a protected database can still be problematic. Further, given the constant evolution of databases, the potential for indefinite protection offered by the rules requires careful handling. While database right is stated to protect a database for 15 years, where there has been a substantial new investment in developing the database, that could qualify the database for its own term of protection, raising the prospect of the protection given to a developing database being constantly renewed.
Database right is both a powerful right to protect the investment of those who create databases and one which is doubtless going to become more and more important as “big data” grows in its influence on all aspects of business. The existence of uncertainty and grey areas in the law makes expert advice crucial for those who need therefore to navigate around the pitfalls to ensure the maximum protection available for what are now the central assets of many businesses.
Our team has advised extensively on data and database related matters, including commercial advice to those creating and maintaining databases and litigation advice.
Relevant publications by team members
Valuation and Exploitation of Intellectual Property and Intangible Assets, by John Sykes, co-author. (Emis).
Sports Business: Law Practice and Precedents, by Clive Lawrence, co-author (Jordans Publishing)
Sport: Law and Practice, Clive Lawrence, contributor, 3rd Edition (Tottel)
Getting in Touch
Making decisions about confidential information is no mean feat, making it important that you have access to legal advice so you are fully aware of what options are available to your business. Contact John Sykes or Clive Lawrence using the details on the enquiry form to discuss your requirements. With offices in Leeds, Sheffield and York, we are able to provide advice to those in and around Yorkshire.