Perpetual injunction granted against a prickly Defendant

n March 2011, the High Court granted a perpetual injunction restraining the Defendant, Mr Frank Hauser, from disclosing confidential information.

The Hedgehog Golf Company Limited, the Claimant, sells products to enhance a golfers experience on the fairway. One of their innovative devices consists of a series of studs on a wheel which can then be attached to a golf trolley to enable golfers to play in wet conditions. The device is called a “hedgehog” and is protected by a patent.

The Claimant previously had two Directors, of which one of them was the Defendant. Earlier contentious court proceedings meant that the Defendant was already subject to an interim (temporary) injunction regarding the disclosure of confidential information in relation to the patent protected hedgehog and consequently he resigned as a Director.

In the present case the court found that the Defendant had shown a “blatant disregard” for his fellow Director’s rights, that his aim was to destroy the Claimant and that he had made numerous threats about revealing confidential information to another Party who were concurrently bringing patent infringement proceedings against the Claimant – even at the risk of breaching the interim injunction previously granted.

The High Court ruled that it was appropriate to grant the perpetual injunction against the Defendant to prevent him from disclosing confidential information and thus protecting the Claimant’s business. The decision is regarded as an exceptional one, but shows that a Court can be minded to grant a perpetual injunction in certain circumstances. This type of injunction would be drafted rather more narrowly than one granted on an interim basis.

Full judgment found here: Hedgehog Golf Co Limited v Frank Hauser

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