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Enforcing Your Rights
If you think someone is abusing your intellectual property rights, time can be of the essence. It is important that you take advice at the earliest opportunity as there are some applications that can be made on your behalf before main proceedings are issued, should you feel it important enough.
Ex Parte Search Order an example – Company A believes that Company B is using its intellectual property rights without permission. Although Company A has proof that Company B is using its IP, it is concerned that Company B will hide the extent of its unauthorised use. This will affect damages. Company A could be entitled to apply for an ex parte search order. This is where Company A seeks an order from the court authorising Company A to search the premises of Company B to gather evidence of infringement. This can be a costly exercise and is therefore usually used where the likely damages resulting from the main proceedings are substantial. However, used correctly, this mechanism can sometimes facilitate an early resolution to a dispute and can turn an infringing party into a genuine customer.
Order for Disclosure an example – Company X believes that Company Y is using its intellectual property rights without permission. Company X has some limited evidence to support this theory and does not believe that an ex parte search order is appropriate. Company X could make an application to court for disclosure of certain documents. This can help the early settlement of disputes.