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Noah v Shuba

[1991] FSR 14

Case summary last updated at 29/01/2020 16:52 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Noah v Shuba

Consultant, C, was employed by public health body. Whilst there he wrote ‘A Guide to Hygienic Skin Piercing’ at home in evenings and weekends. To do this, used employer’s library and assistance of secretary. Guide was first published by employer. D wrote an article which reproduced substantial extracts from C’s guide, and C sued for breach of contract. Issue was whether C was owner of copyright in guide. Held:
 
·        Key question is whether C’s employer could have forced C to write the guide under contract of employment.
·        On facts, C’s employer could not have made C do this.
·        Therefore guide was not written“in course of employment”.
Ø  This despite C making use of employer’s facilities.
·        Even if C had been acting in course of employment, would have been implied termto contrary so that copyright remained with C.
Ø  This because C’s employer had long-standing practice of letting copyright remain with its employees.

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