Contract Terms-Governing Law

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THECORBYLOON | 13:30 Sat 14th May 2016 | Law
15 Answers
A pal of mines has been on a three-day course and part of the terms and conditions is that any techniques she learnt cannot be taught by her to anyone else. Fair enough but looking at the website, their conditions say, "These Terms of Service and any separate agreements whereby we provide you Services shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of (a private address where the classes are held)"

As they do not refer to the laws of England & Wales and there is no separate legislation for that residence, is the restrictrition about not teaching the techniques learnt enforceable?


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You'd better tell that to the High Court then, JD33: . . . as well as to the countless solicitors who use the term 'restrictive covenants' on their websites. e.g:...
20:54 Sat 14th May 2016
no complete BS you cannot not prevent people passing on knowledge of ssubject.
knowledge of a subject
You certainly can prevent someone from making money by teaching a proprietory technique - obviously you can't stop someone telling their friends/colleagues about it as part of everyday chatter.

As to TCL's query I'll await a legal eagle ...
Question Author
TTT there are often terms in a contract of employment restricting employees from operating in competition within a certain time frame or distance from that employer in the event of that employment ending and this would appear to be similar.
Restrictive covenants when someone leaves an employer (limiting the business activities of the former employee) are often unenforceable anyway. Even when they are, the contract must state the length of time during which the restrictions apply; that normally can't be longer than 12 months.

I would expect the same to apply in respect of training techniques. i.e. if no period of time is specified (or if that period exceeds 12 months) then a court wouldn't uphold the validity of that part of the contract.

From the wording you quote, I assume that the courses are provided by an international company and what should have been written where the private address has been entered is simply "the United Kingdom". (That suggests that the franchise-holder who ran the course hasn't actually got a clue about contract law and simply entered his own address in the blank space). In effect, the contract seems to be saying "Here's how we would like to restrict your future activities but, reluctantly, we have to accept that your own country's laws must actually apply".

In the UK you can't patent or copyright teaching techniques. Any contract which seeks to get around that basic principle would be unlikely to be recognised as valid by the courts.
Restrictive covenants is a term used in Land Law. The comparable term in Contract law is 'Contracts in restraint of trade'.
You'd better tell that to the High Court then, JD33:

. . . as well as to the countless solicitors who use the term 'restrictive covenants' on their websites. e.g:

A 'contract in restraint of trade' is, by definition, one which contains restrictive covenants!
I was only pointing out that when I did my law degree the different terms used.
// //

is actually quite good - and just about answers the question

JD33 - his teachers would have said ' terms in a contract in restraint of trade ' but clearly I wasnt there ....
Question Author
The ones doing the training are based in England so it would be natural to assume that English away would apply but I have never seen a home address used before.

Looking at PP's link it appears that the knowledge gained cannot be restricted even if the contract said English law applied, so that is very helpful.
>>> Looking at PP's link

Whose link?

they would have done better in establishing the right of copyright....
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Apologies CHRIS...
PPs link is BC's link

his post was a bit linky so I took the liberty of specifying which link I liked.

but hey boys I dont mind being given credit for a good link even tho it was someone else's idea first .....
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That's why I changed his to the best answer.

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