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Terrapin Ltd v Builders' Supply Co (Hayes) Ltd

[1967] RPC 375

Case summary last updated at 02/02/2020 14:36 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Terrapin Ltd v Builders' Supply Co (Hayes) Ltd

D made prefabricated buildings to design specified by C. C communicated manufacturing details and technical specifications to D for this purpose. At end of contract, D began to make its sell its own prefabricated buildings incorporating many of C’s design features. C sued; D claimed there was no breach as sale of C’s buildings and existence of C’s brochures meant information was available to public. Held:
 
·       Person who obtains information in confidence cannot use it as a springboard for activities detrimental to person who gave information.
·       Is true that inspection of brochures and dismantling of C’s buildings might enable third party to copy design
Ø  However this is far more difficult than it would be without the technical specifications
·       Thus C used information to give him unfair head-start over members of public

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