Firm granted rare order

2016-09-14 09:31
Darryl Taylor, the owner of Hilton firm Accpick, has successfully applied for an Anton Piller order to prevent their locally developed information technology from being stolen.

Darryl Taylor, the owner of Hilton firm Accpick, has successfully applied for an Anton Piller order to prevent their locally developed information technology from being stolen. (Ian Carbutt)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The homes and businesses of some ex-employees of Hilton-based automotive software company Accpick Automotive Solutions were raided simultaneously recently in terms of a rarely granted Anton Piller court order.

The matter was heard in open court in the Pietermaritzburg high court on Tuesday, even though the actual court order was made, in camera, on August 23, court documents show.

The order provides the right to search premises and seize evidence without prior warning.

The last time the Pietermaritzburg high court granted such an order is believed to have been at least 13 years ago.

At issue was the alleged copying of Accpick’s intellectual property, including software developed by the company over 28 years, and selling that property at a lower price.

The outcome of the analysis of the electronic equipment seized is not yet known.

Accpick’s attorney Oliver Bernhard said the court order was significant in that it shows the court recognises copyright infringement as a matter of law, and that one does not necessarily need to rely on copyright registration for protection.

“The search and seizures were co-ordinated to happen at exactly 10 am … and the respondents’ offices and homes were raided simultaneously. This is one of the largest operations of its kind … the build-up took many months of hard work,” said Accpick owner Darryl Taylor, who had applied for the court order.

The search was conducted by the sheriffs of the court along with experienced independent IT specialists using high-tech software, he said.

They searched, inspected and removed for testing all the electronic equipment — including computers, servers, laptops and USB drives — at the ex-employees’ business addresses and homes.

The six respondents in the case listed in the court documents are Tower Investments, Michael Graham, Madelyn Janse van Rensburg, Wesley Naidoo, Christelle van Rensburg and Raveshnee Naidoo.

Taylor said Accpick’s intellectual property was unique, and if one were to search the servers of the company, the software would be like a fingerprint is to a human.

“Our directory structure and source code programs and user manuals have been carefully written in-house by Accpick experts using our proprietary software,” he said.

Judge Sharmaine Balton yesterday adjourned the proceedings until September 26, while the parties would be granted access to the reports of the sheriffs and IT experts on the electronic hardware and software confiscated during the raids.

The application was, on Tuesday, confirmed in its entirety barring costs, which has been held over for a trial or interdict court, court documents show.

• The Anton Piller order takes its name from the 1976 UK case of Anton Piller KG vs Manufacturing Processes, which dealt with the alleged theft of trade secrets.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.