Piracy is perhaps the most rampant issue that intellectual property (IP) rights holders struggle to cope with. It demands a strict enforcement mechanism. While search and seizure orders have a crucial role to play in enforcement, courts have commented on the appointment of local commissioners to carry out search and seizure operations.
The Anton Piller provides the right to search premises and seize goods without prior warning, and aims to prevent the destruction of incriminating evidence, particularly in cases involving intellectual property.
The order derives its name from the 1976 English case of Anton Piller v Manufacturing Processes Limited, and requires that:
- an extremely strong prima facie case be established against the respondent;
- the damage, potential or actual, must be very serious for the applicant; and
- there must be clear evidence that the respondents have in their possession incriminating documents or things, and that there is a real possibility that they may destroy such material before an inter partes application can be made.
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Manisha Singh Nair is a partner at Lex Orbis, an intellectual property practice law firm headquartered in New Delhi.
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