The Victorian Supreme Court yesterday dismissed a claim for breach of confidence brought against Incitec Pivot by former leasing consultants, MMFC. In striking out the plaintiff’s claim, which was commenced in July 2008, Justice Croft found that MMFC had failed to identify or define information capable of protection as confidential information.
The Court’s decision reinforces the significant onus borne by the plaintiff in a confidential information case to plead its case precisely. In particular, Justice Croft stated that the critical element in a case of this kind is to identify or define “in specific, not merely general, global terms, or on some inferential basis … that which is said to be the confidential information in question“. The fact that a plaintiff may not be seeking injunctive relief does not avoid the need for a defendant to know precisely when it is at risk of a claim (or further claim) of wrongfully using the confidential information.
Mallesons acts for Incitec Pivot in these proceedings