Saif Khan and Shobhit Agrawal at Anand and Anand analyse anti-counterfeiting remedies
In India the judiciary and law enforcement authorities are well acquainted with the nuances of measures for anti-counterfeiting enforcement. The recognised civil enforcement actions are civil suits with Anton Piller orders and John Doe orders. The former is the preferred action against counterfeiting. By it plaintiffs may seek appointment of court commissioner to visit a defendant’s premises and search and seize counterfeit goods, in addition to ex parte orders of injunction. John Doe orders are extraordinary orders through which the court appoints and authorizes the court commissioner to enter, search and execute seizures in the premises of unnamed defendants suspected of engaging in counterfeiting.
A new commercial courts act has come into effect governing the procedure of commercial cases and disputes involving intellectual property come within its ambit. The most significant development under the act is the introduction of summary disposal of cases when one party can show that the other party has no chance of succeeding. Anti-counterfeit lawsuits are perhaps the best cases for invoking summary proceedings, especially in successful Anton Piller cases. Under it, cases can be decided without trial immediately after service of notice on defendants. This significantly reduces the lifecycle of the case.
Criminal prosecution: Counterfeiting is a criminal offence that is punishable with six months’ to three years’ imprisonment and a fine ranging from ₹50,000 to ₹200,000 (US$765 to US$3,060). Offences are cognizable in nature and the police can take action without a court warrant.
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SAIF KHAN is a partner at Anand and Anand where he heads the enforcement team. SHOBHIT AGRAWAL is a senior associate at the firm. They can be reached at Saif@anand andanand.com and Shobhit@anandandanand.