PROTECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS: ANTON PILLER ORDERS

DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2230.1983.tb02517.x
Publication Date01 May 1983
AuthorAnne Staines
PROTECTION
OF
INTELLECTUAL
PROPERTY RIGHTS
:
ANTON PILLER ORDERS
INTRODUCTION
AFTER
what threatened to be a major setback to its rapid development,
but proved instead to be a mere
hiccup,” the
Anton Piller
procedure’
has been restored to full effect by the enactment of the Supreme Court
Act
1981,
s.
72.
‘The new section withdraws the privilege against self-
incrimination from defendantsa in civil proceedings for infringement of
rights pertaining to intellectual property or for passing
off,
and thus
removes the effect of the House of Lords’ decision in
Rank Film
Distributors Ltd.
v.
Video Information Centre.a
The introductilon of this provision into the Supreme Court Bill at
such a late stage in its passage through Parliament4 is a heartening
example of the ispeed at which reform can be achieved on occasion;
however it is submitted that the effect is spoiled by a lingering suspicion
that Parliament’s blessing has been given to a practice which in any
other context would be regarded as highly dangerous and objection-
able. The purpose of this article is to inquire whether such a suspicion is
justified in the particular context in which the new provision firmly
establishes the
Anton Piller
practice.
1.
Origins
of
the
Order
The
Anton Piller
order is a particularly dramatic example of the courts’
recent adaptation of the injunction to provide remedies for plaintiffs in
new
situation^.^
The order takes the form of an interlocutory injunction, issued on an
ex parte
application, and was originally designed to provide an effective
weapon against copyright infringement where
it
was feared that
pirates
were in possession of incriminating documents or things
which they might destroy given notice of an
inter partes
application.
Film and record companies were the first to apply for such orders6
The unauthorised copying of copyright audio and video recordings has
reached epidemic. proportion. Recent developments in technology have
made sophisticated copying machines widely available at low cost in
relation to the enormous profits to be made.
For
long before the
advent of the
Anton Piller
order, the film and record companies had
which the Court of Appeal first recognised it.
1
So
called after
Anton Piller
K.G.
v.
Manufacturing Processes Ltd.
[I9761 Ch.
55
in
And their spour;es.
[1981]
2
W.L.R. 668.
4
C1.
72 was introduced three weeks before the Royal Assent was received on July 31,
1981-H.C. Deb. col. 673 (July 9, 1981)-and just three months after the
Rank
decision.
Rank Film Distributors Ltd.
&
Others
v.
Video Information Centre (a firm)
&
Others
[I9811
2
W.L.R. 6681,
per
Lord Wilberforce at p. 672.
6
In
A.
&
M.
Records
Inc.
v.
Arum Darakdijan,
May,
21,
1974 (unrep.);
E.M.I.
V.
Hazan,
July 3, 1974. (unrep.), and in the
first
reported case:
E.M.I.
v.
Pundit
(19751
1
W.L.R.
302.
274

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