preliminary discovery

What is a Norwich Pharmacal order?

In situations where an innocent third party has information about conduct which may assist a litigant, an applicant apply to the Court to have that third party disclose such information.  For example, a bank which has knowledge of a transaction or conduct that would assist a litigant it may be obliged to hand over the information sought.  Orders such as this are known as Norwich Pharmacal orders and evolved from the case of Norwich Pharmacal Co v Customs and Excise Commissioners [1974] AC 133 (Norwich Pharmacal). [Read more…]

Preliminary discovery in the Federal Court

Preliminary discovery (Discovery) is available to potential applicants (Applicants) in the Federal Court for the purposes of determining whether there is a good cause of action against a prospective respondent (Respondent).  It is not as a mechanism for full discovery.  Discovery is done before the filing of any claim and occurs at the very start of litigious proceedings. [Read more…]

Preliminary discovery granted in patent proceedings

The Federal Court of Australia has allowed an application for preliminary discovery of documents related to the components of a ‘sealing composition’ and methods of using it to seal passages.  In the case of Sovereign Hydroseal Pty Ltd v Steynberg [2020] FCA 1084, the Federal Court considered whether preliminary discovery can be used by a patentee to inform its decision-making in relation to whether to commence a proceeding in respect of potential patent infringement. [Read more…]

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