Singapore’s breach of confidence burden of proof


Singapore does not have a specific trade secret statute (yet), but trade secret owners can enforce a “breach of confidence” claim. A big change happened in 2020, making enforcement by trade secret owners much easier.

The 2020 case of I Admin Pte. Ltd. V. Hong Ying Ting et al. (SGCA 32) simplified the burden of proof for the trade secret owner (plaintiff). Previously, the plaintiff would have to show harmful unauthorized use of the misappropriated information.

This was often quite challenging to do, and the use may not happen until sometime after the misappropriation took place.

Singapore Skyline at night

With the I Admin case, a rebuttable presumption of breach of confidence is created upon showing that the information was confidential, and that it was provided under a duty of confidentiality or that it was acquired without plaintiff’s consent or knowledge. Basically, the plaintiff does not have to wait until damage has been done by use of the information.