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Current Intellectual Property Issues in Construction

Paper number

Michael Taylor

April 2014

A paper presented to the Society of Construction Law at meetings in London on 5th November 2013 and Cardiff on 12th February 2014

How to get hold of documents? Disclosure is one method. In some cases getting documents, or information, can be the subject matter of the legal claim itself. Examples are claims for delivery up if the document is in physical form; claims in confidence if it contains confidential information; or claims in copyright if it contains copyrighted material. Fairstar v Adkins concerned an attempt to obtain electronic documents based on a principal agency relationship. The emails in question were not confidential or subject to copyright. What, if any, right to the emails might Fairstar have had if it had not been Adkin's principal? Can one ever own an email? There are also rights to documents or information under the Data Protection Act 1988 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000, but are they any use in litigation?

Substantive claims for documents - Contractual rights to information - Rights of audit -The courts' interest-driven approach - Reasonableness of request - Take copies?- Summary - Rights arising from an agency relationship - Statutory rights to documentation - The Data Protection Act 1998 - Freedom of information.

The author: Michael Taylor is a barrister specialising in IT and construction law at 4 Pump Court, London:

Text: 19 pages.