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Hong Kong : Nu Pharm Ltd v Champ Group Ltd & Ors [2021] HKCFI 751 – an illustration as…

Hong Kong : Nu Pharm Ltd v Champ Group Ltd & Ors [2021] HKCFI 751 – an illustration as to how disputes over discovery of unredacted documents may properly be resolved.

Nu Pharm is famous for selling a variety of food supplements and nutritional products. They sued the Defendants for trademark infringement and passing off for supplying medicinal and health products under a similar trademark.

The parties made interim applications for specific discovery. One of the issues that the Court had to decide was whether it should order unredacted copies of certain documents to be disclosed.

The Court made a “Limited Discovery Order” requiring the discovery of four unredacted documents to the Plaintiff’s legal representatives subject to the condition that they are not to release the same to the Plaintiff.
The Judge observed : “[Leading Counsel for the Defendants] has also supplied me with the unredacted copies of the [redacted documents] in a sealed envelope and invites me to look at the documents themselves. I decide not to do so. Though the court may in appropriate cases peruse the documents themselves with a view to determine whether the redacted parts are relevant, the court should be reluctant to do so unless it is absolutely necessary. After all, it would be against natural justice if the other side, or at least their legal representatives, do not have the opportunity of looking at the documents themselves.”

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