With the Commonwealth Games just around the corner it may be of some consternation to water sport fans that the Federal Court has recently contemplated the grant of a ‘Springboard Injunction’. In Mastec Australia Pty Ltd v Trident Plastics (SA) Pty Ltd (No3)  FCA 99 his Honour Justice White revisited the question of granting an injunction to restrain a party from doing something that would otherwise be lawful. Not in the swimming pool, but in the workshop.
At the heart of this case was the issue of whether an injunction should be granted to prevent the use of drawings which were in the public domain. The respondent had used the drawings while they were still confidential and had secured a ‘springboard’ advantage over the market. Whilst rejecting the claim for an injunction (due to the fact that by the time of the hearing the information had been in the public domain for more than six years), His Honour confirmed that springboard injunctions are available in intellectual property cases if they are limited in time and deprive a party of any benefit derived through a prior infringing act. Typically such injunctions will be seen in cases of breach of confidence or patent infringement. Those interested in the diving can rest easy.