Coming across Employee Confidentiality Agreements or inclusion of the Confidential Information clause in an employment agreement is a common part and parcel of the professional front. However, there have been instances wherein under the disguise of protecting confidential information, such
It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.This is rather apt for the India IP scenario where many individuals and companies have been approaching the Courts with rather interesting questions (ones that we have always wanted answers to) and Courts have been very liberal, and cautious at the same time while interpreting these provisions of the intellectual property laws. With specific reference to the confidentiality clauses, non-disclosure agreements and trade secrets, there have always been a lot of questions but very few answers. Two recent cases decided by the Calcutta High Court and Delhi High Court shed some light on the enforcement of such clauses.
In my earlier post on this matter, I discussed the importance of filing the statement of working for a patent without delving into the aspect of confidentiality or lack thereof when such statements are made. Statutorily, the statement of working may be published by the Patent Office and so the Patent Office has made available online the statements of working filed for the year 2012.
The Plaintiff, Vogueserve International Private Limited, is an Indian company which was engaged in the business of trading of home textiles, home decorative, furnishing and clothing etc. and provide buying services for international buying companies. All four Defendants were employed with Vogueserve until July 2011. When they resigned, they took with them, the client database and other confidential information. In November 2011 they started a new company under the name of “Excel Buying Services” dealing in the same line of business as Vogueserve. They continued to contact Vogueserves clients through their old email id and used the information that they had taken. Vogueserve filed an FIR against the former employees to initiate criminal proceedings and filed a suit with the Court and sought an injunction against Defendants from contacting their former clients in particular “STRAUSS innovations”, “BOLTZE”, “IMPRESSIONEN”, “SCHNEIDER”, and DS PRODUKTE”.
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