Force India Formula One Team Ltd v 1 Malaysia Racing Team Sdn Bhd and Others: ChD 21 Mar 2012

The claimants alleged misuse by the defendants of confidential information.
Held: Arnold J said: ‘Confidential information is not property, however, even though businessmen often deal with confidential information as if it were property and judges often use the language of property when discussing breach of confidence: see Jefferys v Boosey (1854) 4 HLC 814 at 966 (Lord Brougham); E.I. Du Pont de Nemours Powder Co v Masland (1917) 244 US 100 at 102 (Holmes J, US Supreme Court); Federal Commissioner of Taxation v United Aircraft Corp (1943-44) 68 CLR 525 at 534 (Latham CJ, High Court of Australia); Nicrotherm Electrical Co Ltd v Percy [1957] RPC 207 at 209 (Lord Evershed MR, with whom Hodson and Romer LJJ agreed); Boardman v Phipps [1967] 2 AC 46 at 89G-90A (Viscount Dilhorne), 102G (Lord Cohen) and 127F-128A (Lord Upjohn); Fraser v Evans [1969] 1 QB 349 at 361 (Lord Denning MR); Moorgate Tobacco Co Ltd v Philip Morris Ltd [1985] RPC 219 at 234 (Deane J, with whom the other members of the High Court of Australia agreed); Cadbury Schweppes Inc v FBI Foods Ltd [2000] FSR 691 at [39]-[48] (Binnie J delivering the judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada); Douglas v Hello! Ltd (No 3) [2005] EWCA Civ 595, [2006] QB 125 at [126]-[127] (Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers MR delivering the judgment of the Court of Appeal) and [2007] UKHL 21, [2008] 1 AC 1 at [276] (Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe); and Coogan v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2012] EWCA Civ 48 at [39] (Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury MR, with whom Lord Judge CJ and Maurice Kay LJ agreed). (It may be noted that Rix LJ’s statement in Veolia ES Nottinghamshire Ltd v Nottinghamshire County Council [20101] EWCA Civ 1214, [2011] Env LR 12 at [111] that ‘confidential information is a well recognised species of property’ was made without reference to any of these authorities, although Coogan v News Group was of course decided later.) It follows that the user principle is not directly applicable to claims for breach of confidence. Although proprietary remedies have sometimes been granted in breach of confidence cases, these have been based not purely upon breach of confidence, but upon breach of a fiduciary duty, as for example in Boardman v Phipps.’
Arnold J
[2012] EWHC 616 (Ch), [2012] RPC 29
England and Wales
CitedNicrotherm Electrical Company v Percy CA 1957
Lord Evershed MR said: ‘a man who thinks of a mechanical conception and then communicates it to others for the purpose of their working out means of carrying it into effect does not, because the idea was his (assuming that was), get proprietary . .
CitedMotor Oil Hellas (Corinth) Refineries SA v Shipping Corporation of India (The Kanchenjunga) HL 1990
A ship was caught in harbour when an air raid broke out. The master took the ship to sea where it suffered damage.
Held: The shipowners were protected by a war risks clause in the charterparty agreement. As to waiver by election, Lord Goff of . .

Cited by:
CitedFairstar Heavy Transport Nv v Adkins and Another CA 19-Jul-2013
The court was asked whether the appellant company was entitled to an order requiring its former Chief Executive Officer, after the termination of his appointment, to give it access to the content of emails relating to its business affairs, and . .
Cited32Red Plc v WHG (International) Ltd and Others ChD 12-Apr-2013
The court had found trade mark infringement by the defendant and now considered the quantification of damages. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 20 August 2021; Ref: scu.452206