British Industrial Plastics Ltd v Ferguson: CA 1938

The defendant received information about a patentable invention from the plaintiff’s former employee. He said that his (mistaken) view was that since the employee had himself made the invention, it was patentable by him, and not covered by the employee’s contractual obligation of confifence to his employer.
Held: McKinnon LJ said that in accepting this evidence the judge had ‘vindicated [his] honesty . . at the expense of his intelligence’ but that in the circumstances, he could not be liable for inducing the employee’s breach of contract.


McKinnon LJ


[1938] 4 All ER 504

Cited by:

Appeal fromBritish Industrial Plastics Ltd v Ferguson HL 1939
The plaintiff’s former employee offered the defendant information about one of the plaintiff’s secret processes which he, as an employee, had invented. The defendant knew that the employee was obliged by his contract not to reveal trade secrets but . .
CitedDouglas and others v Hello! Ltd and others; similar HL 2-May-2007
In Douglas, the claimants said that the defendants had interfered with their contract to provide exclusive photographs of their wedding to a competing magazine, by arranging for a third party to infiltrate and take and sell unauthorised photographs. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 01 May 2022; Ref: scu.251744