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Confidential Information

Ideas, techniques and know-how can lie at the heart of a business. Pinsent Masons' international intellectual property team is dedicated to helping you to protect those intangible valuables that help you to stand out from your competitors.

Some know-how and ideas can be protected by registering them, for example as trade marks or patents. But other kinds of knowledge is less well protected and can only be kept safe it if qualifies as 'confidential information'.

This is a particular category of information and if something is deemed confidential it gives you extra rights to protect it. It could, for example, be a blueprint for a new product or the source code for a new computer program. 

It will be likely be information that costs significant amounts of time or money to develop and create, or it might be information which could have an impact on prices or could change buyers' or sellers' actions. This information only stays valuable if it stays secret.

Certain kinds of information are inherently confidential. This will be the case if it is confidential in nature, it is kept confidential or, in the case where it is disclosed to another party, it is only disclosed in circumstances which make it clear that the information is to be treated as being confidential.

You need to know how to protect your confidential information and how to use it without undermining the secrecy which makes it valuable in the first place.

Given that you will need to disclose this information to some people, such as when discussing a deal or an investment or developing an invention, we can: 

  • make sure that the disclosure of the information is done properly,
  • that everyone involved knows their responsibilities, and
  • make sure that everyone agrees to respect the confidentiality.

We do this by: 

  • advising clients on document retention and security policies;
  • advising clients on confidentiality and none disclosure agreements; and
  • obtaining injunctions to prevent the misuse of confidential information.

We advise clients:

  • across all sectors at all stages of their business cycles when confidentiality becomes an issue;
  • during corporate transactions which impose additional regulatory compliance requirements;
  • when they are requested to disclose information which they believe to be confidential.