The Danish Supreme Court lifts injunction that was too broad

On 6 November 2015 the Danish Supreme Court upheld a judgment by the High Court which ruled that an injunction issued to protect a company's business secrets was too broad and it was consequently lifted as it was found that it had not been lawfully issued.

The injunction had been issued because eight days before his dismissal a sales director had transferred a large number of files from the company's IT system to CD-ROMs without the company's knowledge and consent. The injunc-tion had generally been rightly issued as the sales manager had obtained illegal access to the company's business secrets in conflict with section 19(1) of the Danish Marketing Practices Act by having transferred material from the company's IT system.

However, the injunction prohibited the sales manager from generally having anything to do with purchases and sales of carrageenan and alginate mixtures (food additives) which he had been working with both before and after the employment, which the Supreme Court found to be too extensive. In that connection the Supreme Court had regard to the prohibition's actual effect being that the sales manager was prevented from engaging in competing activities even though he had not accepted a competition clause and that the competitive situation on the market meant that it was usual that competitors analyse and copy each other's products within relatively short periods, which is why the prohibition of three years from the date when the sales director was dismissed was too extensive.

The injunction was thus lifted and the seizure that was made as a consequence of the injunction was not lawful.

The Supreme Court's judgment can be read here. (in Danish only)

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