On September 8, 2010, the Intellectual Property and International Trade Court (IP&IT Court) held a meeting to discuss and gather comments and recommendations on the procedure for issuing search warrants in relation to IP criminal actions. Various concerned parties attended the meeting, such as police officers, public prosecutors, and IP practitioners. This meeting was significant because many IP owners have expressed concerns about the need for standardized procedures in determining whether a search warrant will be granted.
|Issuance of Search Warrants||2008||2009||2010 (Jan-Aug)||Total|
|Total petitions for search warrants||852||1,000||578||2,430|
|Search warrants issued||502 (59%)||605 (60%)||431
|Petitions dismissed/ withdrawn||350||395||147||892|
During the meeting, the IP&IT Court revealed some interesting new statistics about the issuance of search warrants, as shown in the table above. From 2008 through August 31, 2010, the Court granted 63% of search warrants sought by petitioners. Although this overall percentage is reasonably high, the Court admitted that search warrants for patent litigation are rarely issued because the Court holds the opinion that civil actions, not criminal actions, should be taken.
In order to successfully obtain a search warrant, we recommend that at least the following evidence be submitted to the Court:
Among the many issues discussed at the meeting, one of the key topics was the amount of time allotted to execute search warrants. A common concern among petitioners is that the Court often does not grant sufficient time to conduct the search. During the discussion, IP practitioners made the Court aware of these concerns and requested longer periods of time for conducting searches.
If you have any questions about the process for obtaining and executing search warrants in IP criminal actions, please contact us at [email protected]