Privacy V Intellectual Property Litigation: Preliminary Third Party Discovery on the Internet
Australian Bar Review, Vol. 25, p. 228, 2004
41 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2004
The enforcement of Intellectual Property rights poses one of the greatest current threats to the privacy of individuals online. Recent trends have shown that the balance between privacy and intellectual property enforcement has been shifted in favour of intellectual property owners. This article discusses the ways in which the scope of preliminary discovery and Anton Piller orders have been overly expanded in actions where large amounts of electronic information is available, especially against online intermediaries (service providers and content hosts). The victim in these cases is usually the end user whose privacy has been infringed without a right of reply and sometimes without notice.
This article proposes some ways in which the delicate balance can be restored, and considers some safeguards for user privacy. These safeguards include restructuring the threshold tests for discovery, limiting the scope of information disclosed, distinguishing identity discovery from information discovery, and distinguishing information preservation from preliminary discovery.
Keywords: Intellectual Property, Privacy, Discovery, Preliminary Discovery, Third Party Discovery, Copyright Enforcement, Anton Piller, Norwich Pharmacal, FCR O15A
JEL Classification: K41, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation