Dialog Broadband takes SLT to court over alleged industrial espionage

  • Commercial High Court orders SLT to reveal how it obtained confidential design documents of Dialog Broadband

The Commercial High Court has ordered Sri Lanka Telecom Plc (SLT) to disclose the source from which it had acquired the confidential information of Dialog Broadband Networks Ltd. (Dialog Broadband).

Court last week also instructed SLT to appear and show cause as to why the interim injunction restraining SLT from using or disclosing the confidential information contained in the Request for Proposals pending the hearing and determination of the action should not be granted.

Dialog Broadband on 18 July 2017 instituted action against SLT for wrongfully and unlawfully acquiring confidential information belonging to Dialog Broadband, its main competitor. Dialog Broadband told the court that SLT had obtained confidential design documents containing planned future service offerings based on a cutting-edge adaptation of GPON technology and formed a central element of a project scoping (Request for Proposal) document shared under strict non-disclosure agreements with selected technology partners of Dialog Broadband.

The confidential documents contained comprehensive Network Architecture and Service Delivery Architecture design specifications amongst other confidential information of Dialog Broadband and as such had enormous commercial value.

Dialog Broadband further stated in its complaint that it had taken all reasonable steps to maintain the secrecy of the undisclosed confidential information. However, SLT had obtained it through an act of industrial espionage. The Intellectual Property Act No. 36 of 2003 protects confidential information from disclosure and any wrongful acquisition or use is a violation of the act. Dialog Broadband stated that SLT had violated the law by illegally acquiring and using its confidential information.

Commercial High Court Judge Ruwan Fernando, after hearing the submissions of the Counsel for Dialog Broadband, instituted the interim measures of protection sought by Dialog Broadband and directed SLT to forthwith disclose the source from which the confidential Request for Proposals was acquired and to present the original documents to court.

K. Kanag-Isvaran, President`s Counsel, with Avindra Rodrigo, L. Jeyakumar and Aruna de Silva, appeared for Dialog Broadband Networks Ltd.

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