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Chapter 2 (4) (i)

Confidential Information & Trade


Secret
BLAW 2403 | IT LAW
Prepared by : Norlaili Bt Mohd Basri
Faculty of Information and Communication Technology

BLAW 2403 | IT LAW

Confidential Information
• Is information which is private and not of public
knowledge.

The test/condition precedent


1. Information must be confidential.
• Confidential information may comprise of technological
information, commercial trade secrets, marketing or
professional procedures or personal information

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BLAW 2403 | IT LAW

2.Disclosed in circumstances importing an


obligation of confidence.

• Information ordinarily given in the course of day


to day business settings like corporate meetings
and in formal commercial surrounding will
usually import such an obligation

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Faculty of Information and Communication Technology

BLAW 2403 | IT LAW

3.There must be unauthorised use of the


information.

• In this regard, it is not necessary for all


information obtained to be misused before an
action may maintain for breach of confidence.
• Misuse may arise where only some of the
information used and will depend on the
materiality of the information so used.

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Faculty of Information and Communication Technology

BLAW 2403 | IT LAW

4.The information must be information the release


of which the owner reasonably believes would
be injurious to him or of advantage to
competitors in rivals.
5. The owner must be reasonably believe that the
information is confidential or secret and not
already in the public domain; and
6. The information must be judge in the light of the
usages and practise of the particular industry
concerned.

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Faculty of Information and Communication Technology

BLAW 2403 | IT LAW

Confidence in the employment context

1. Obligation during employment

The law recognise that an employee’s obligation


of confidentiality to his employer remains the
highest value while the employee is still under
the employment of the employer.

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Faculty of Information and Communication Technology

BLAW 2403 | IT LAW

2. Obligation post employment

• Even though left the employment, he is still


under a general obligation to his former
employer not to disclose confidential information
obtained or learnt in the course of such
employment.

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Faculty of Information and Communication Technology

BLAW 2403 | IT LAW

• An employer generally only permitted to protect


trade secret, eg : like chemical formulae,
information on technical processes, secret
processes of manufacture etc.

• An employer is not permitted to prevent an


employee from using his skills and knowledge
obtained during his former employment.

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Faculty of Information and Communication Technology

BLAW 2403 | IT LAW

Trade Secrets
• Some business processes and information that
are not, or cannot be, patented, copyrighted or
trademarked are nevertheless protected against
appropriation by competitors as trade secret.
• Trade Secret consist of customer lists, plans
research and development, pricing information,
marketing technique, production techniques and
generally anything that makes and individual
company unique and that would have value to a
competitor

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Faculty of Information and Communication Technology

BLAW 2403 | IT LAW

• Thus if a salesperson tries to solicit the


company’s customer for non company business,
or if an employee copies the employer’s unique
method of manufacture, he or she has
appropriated a trade secret.

• Theft of confidential business data by industrial


espionage (spy) as when a business taps into a
competitor’s computer, is a theft of trade secret.

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Faculty of Information and Communication Technology

BLAW 2403 | IT LAW

End of Lecture

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