RWD Technologies Ltd v Gibbs & Others

Reference: [2002] 8 CL 42

Court: Queen's Bench Division

Judge: HHJ Levy QC

Date of judgment: 12 Dec 2001

Summary: Intellectual property - confidential information - employment law - copyright - without notice order - discharge for non-disclosure - injunction

Appearances: Jonathan Barnes KC (Defendant) 

Instructing Solicitors: Eversheds


The claimant obtained without notice injunctions against former employees who were alleged to have unlawfully exploited its confidential information and acted in competition with the claimant. The defendants applied to discharge the injunctions on the grounds of material non-disclosure, misrepresentation and lack of underlying merit.


Whether the injunctions should be discharged.


Injunctions discharged and the claimant ordered to pay most of the costs on the indemnity basis. The claimant’s without notice application in the absence of the defendants had been flawed, since the judge’s attention had not been drawn to the facts that a return date was required and that all parties had previously been interpreting the restraint of trade provisions more narrowly than as set out in the injunction and the claimant had failed to explain the defendants’ likely lines of defence.


The case illustrates the dangers of rushing into applications for without notice relief. The original application was short, but the application to discharge took nearly 4 days, at the end of which the claimant suffered a heavy costs bill.