Pharmaceuticals company Roche and animal activists have become embroiled in a game of cat and mouse over attempts to name and shame Roche employees online in a campaign against animal testing.
Roche claims that websites such as the now offline www.rochekills.com published copyrighted material from its own documents, thought to have been stolen from the firm's Welwyn offices earlier this year.
So far, the company says it has obtained preliminary injunctions against two groups of campaigners for breach of copyright and to enforce the return of the documents.
A Roche spokesman said the company is pressing on to make the injunction permanent and would take "whatever legal action is appropriate" should activists try and republish the information elsewhere on the internet. The company said it identified activists through internet service provider records and telephone logs.
A spokesman for the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) group, which had registered rochekills.com, declined to comment before deadline.
The group has said previously that it will target any firm that employs research lab Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) to test its products, and has claimed victory when companies either hiring, or hired by HLS, ended their association following demonstrations.
Campaigners have already demonstrated outside the homes of Roche's directors. Last month, they entered the company's Derbyshire offices and, according to a report on SHAC's website, had "a good look at the supposedly confidential paperwork regarding Roche's clients".
Roche says it is advising employees on measures to protect their privacy, such as de-listing from website 192.com. SHAC also plans to launch a telephone blockade against Roche today, and on Wednesday and Friday. By 4pm on Monday, Roche said it had received approximately 50 calls it believed were from animal rights campaigners.
Last week, five firms wrote to Home Secretary Jack Straw warning that animal activists are discouraging pharmaceutical companies from doing further research in the UK. According to an article in the Daily Telegraph, Straw has promised laws to improve the security of employees and shareholders of companies that test on animals.
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