Where court action is available, please provide details of which court(s) have jurisdiction, how to start proceedings, the basics of the procedure, the time to trial, the format of the trial, the time to judgment and award of relief and whether any appeal is available.
Proceedings in which a claim is made in respect of the infringement of a copyright or for breach of confidence may be begun in the State Court or High Court by writ, choice of forum depends on the quantum of damages/account of profits sought. Proceedings in which a claim is made in respect of the infringement of a patent or trade mark shall be begun in the High Court by writ.
Proceedings will involve the filing of pleadings, discovery, the exchange of evidence through affidavits and trial in open court with cross-examination of witnesses and the filing of submissions
Generally, court proceedings can last between 12 – 18 months depending on the complexity of the matter and the number of interlocutory applications taken out. Appeals for infringement proceedings are to the Court of Appeal and it can take a few months to a year for appeals to be heard.
The relief available for the infringement of a patent or trade mark include an injunction, an order for the defendant to deliver up or destroy any infringing products or goods, damages, an account of profits, and a declaration that the patent or mark is valid and has been infringed by the defendant.
In addition, for copyright and trade marks, the plaintiff can also obtain orders to erase, remove, or obliterate the infringing works/articles, and in certain cases, may be awarded statutory damages.