Sun Valley Foods Limited v Vincent: 2000

The court considered the grant of ‘springboard relief’. Jonathan Parker J said: ‘For reasons which I have already explained, there is no room for doubt that the defendants have made unlawful use of material in which Sun Valley/Fields has a proprietary interest. But, as Nourse L.J. explained in Bullivant, that in itself is not enough to found a claim for ‘springboard’ relief. Sun Valley also has to establish (a) that the defendants thereby gained unfair competitive advantage over Sun Valley ‘to use the words of Roxburgh J.’ (an ‘unfair start’) and (b) as of today that advantage still exists and will continue to have effect unless the relief sought is granted.
It is, therefore, necessary to consider on the evidence as it stands (and, of necessity, without the benefit of cross-examination) the extent to which the unlawful copying of Fields’ material assisted the defendants in starting up Fusion’s business and in thereby shortening the start-up period.
In undertaking this task, I must bear in mind that there was nothing unlawful in the individual defendants making use of their own expertise and experience in setting up in competition with Sun Valley/Fields immediately following their resignations. In those respects, a ‘seamless transaction’ from Fields to Fusion was a legitimate aim which cannot found an application for ‘springboard’ relief.’


Jonathan Parker J


[2000] FSR 825


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedWhitmar Publications Ltd v Gamage and Others ChD 4-Jul-2013
Whitmar claimed damages for breach of contract; an account of profits; damages for breach of fiduciary duty and/or for infringement of its Database Rights under the Copyright and Rights in Database Regulations 1997; and for a permanent injunction . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, Litigation Practice

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.619038