The Patents County Court has held that an ex-employee and his new employer company were liable for misuse of confidential information belonging to the former employer. The information the employee had taken had been used.

The new employer was also held liable for the breaches, including those before it became the employer. This was because the employee was acting to further his new employer’s interests as their agent and because his knowledge could be attributed to the company which was his new employer. In that way, the company could be held jointly liable.

Employers should recognise the considerable risk of allowing employees who used to work for a competitor to use confidential information from their old employment. They should make it clear to prospective employees that any such information should not be used by them before or after they start.