How does the court acquire any necessary information (fact or technical) and in what circumstances does it do so?
Factual evidence is given through affidavit and examination of witnesses on the stand.
a) Is there a technical judge, a judge with technical experience, a court appointed expert, an expert agreed by the parties, and/or parties' expert witness evidence?
The High Court has identified judges who are able to bring their considerable experience and expertise in specialist areas of law to bear on complex cases, and there is an identified list of judges for intellectual property cases.
The court may, on its own motion or on the application of any party, appoint an expert. The court appointed expert will then produce a report, and any party may apply to the court for leave to cross-examine the expert on his report.
Parties may also appoint expert witnesses, and the expert must produce a written report signed by the expert and exhibited in an affidavit affirmed by the expert. The expert will be subject to cross-examination.
b) What mechanisms are available for compelling the obtaining and protecting of evidence? Is disclosure or discovery available?
Litigants can take out applications for specific discovery, discovery against a non-party (Norwich Pharmacal orders), or search orders (Anton Piller Orders).
Generally, evidence disclosed in the course of proceedings is also protected by the common law Riddick principle. Alternatively, the court can order the establishment of a confidentiality club. In patent proceedings, where the allegedly infringing process is a trade secret, a defendant can claim limited discovery.