Search and seizure orders are not given lightly by the Courts, in the following case a big car manufacturer sought the order to protect its’ intellectual property rights which were being used by dishonest traders to make what could be seen as a quick and easy profit. The High Court regard this type of law-breaking as very serious and deal with them accordingly.
The subject at issue was the importing of alloy wheels by two people and companies, one of the people had had a previous warning for the same offence and had agreed to stop. The alloy wheels were being bought in from the far east and were copies in all but name of the car manufacturers’ alloy wheels. Trademarks of the car makers were also imported in the form of badges which were fitted to the wheels. The public believed they were buying the genuine article from a variety of sources but mostly from internet websites.
The application for the order was unusual as it would allow unannounced searches of any premises commercial or private and the collection of goods and documents. The manufacturer had provided a strong case in support of their application and the damage the infringement of their property had caused.
The Court granted the order because of the need to secure all the evidence of everyone involved and the element of surprise would stop any documents being destroyed or moved to enable a thorough investigation to take place. The manufacturer could not ensure the fake goods were of their standard and there were some safety issues that had given rise to customer complaints.