Licensing agreements: Protecting trade secrets
Andrea Allan and Sean McGuire of Watermark examine some recent court cases involving trade secrets and confidential information
Exclusive technology licence agreements, particularly those
for pharmaceuticals, commonly include trade secrets and
confidential information within the relevant definition of the
licensed IP. This is because it is often necessary for the
exclusive licensee to have the confidential information in
order to fully exploit the technology, particularly where that
information concerns manufacturing know-how and other
methodologies used for developing, testing, or analysing the
products being produced under the licence.
The recent Supreme Court of New South Wales decision of
Painaway Australia Pty Ltd v JAKL Group & Ors [NSWSC 205
2011] reinforces the importance of how to properly license and
assign exclusive rights to use trade secrets and confidential
information. Painaway was granted an exclusive licence to use
trade marks and confidential formulas to make, market,
distribute and sell pharmaceutical products. The enforceability
of the licence was challenged but ultimately upheld, despite
some of the corporate parties to the licence...
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