- Confidentiality clubs—are you in or out? (OnePlus Technology v Mitsubishi Electric)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
IP analysis: English courts considering various types of cases, ranging from IP (in this case about whether licences are comparable on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms) to competition cartels, have to assess whether documents should be disclosed broadly, or more restrictively. Certainly in patent infringement actions, the disclosure of a process might be regarded as comprising elements of a ‘trade secret’ nature, warranting the restriction of disclosure to independent advisers (the ‘external eyes only’ club) or to a club which includes named individuals within the other side’s client, provided certain conditions are met. In cases such as this, the first instance judge is obliged to consider which option to follow. The present decision sets out clear criteria for the judges to follow to help achieve the balance of a party knowing the case and evidence against them, while preserving confidentiality where it is warranted. Written by Paul A Harris, senior partner (IP litigation) at Venner Shipley LLP.
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