Article 50 deals with provisional measures, which include measures known in many Member states as preliminary, interlocutory or interim injunctions. These measures may also include prohibitions upon the destruction of evidence and on the defendant removing IP related goods, funds and evidence from the jurisdiction. In addition, they may include judicial or administrative orders to seize or deliver suspected infringing goods, and requirements that a party deliver documents or provide appropriate access to relevant information. The orders may also require a third party, for example a bank, to freeze a person’s bank account. A provisional measure under Article 50 also enables a judicial authority to hear an urgent application in the absence of the defendant. This is referred to in Article 50 as an order adopted inaudita altera parte. In some countries this is referred to as an ex parte application. Because of the potentially serious adverse impacts a provisional measure may have upon the interests of the party against whom it is made, a number of processes are set out in Article 50 to minimise the extent of any potential harm. In many countries provisional measures can be applied to a wide range of areas of law, and are not confined to potential or actual breaches of IP rights.
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