Patents County Court changes name

On 1 October 2013, the Patents County Court, was renamed the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) and given a specialist listing within the Chancery Division of the High Court.

Originally introduced in 1990 as a court for low value patent disputes, the court has undergone a series of transformative changes following  reforms in 2010, designed to provide a low-cost speedier route  which individuals or businesses can use to enforce their patents.

The following are some of the main benefits of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC):-

  • Recoverable costs capped at £50,000.
  • A trial hearings time-limit of 1-2 days.
  • Better case management.
  • A cap on damages of £500,000.

Obviously, there will be certain cases too complex for these simplified procedures, and such can still be litigated at the Patents Court division of the High Court. Further cases where the amount sought is greater than £500,000 can still be brought to the Patents court.  However,  the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) will be a more attractive option for SME’s and individuals keen for an cost-effective, efficient and simplified procedure through which to obtain redress.

For further information, see the Intellectual Property Office and the Ministry of Justice websites.

Patents County Court (Subsequently renamed IP Enterprise Court)

For most SME’s, having a practical, cost-effective plan for translating their company’s innovations into revenue is of paramount importance. Yet, not as many recognise the value locked-up in their Intellectual Property (patents, designs, trade marks, copyright and know-how). Although this is only a part of the bigger picture, a good strategy for generating, capturing and protecting IPRs will ensure that even SME’s do not miss out on opportunities that have a potential to create additional / supplementary revenue streams using. This may be achieved in a number of ways such licensing use of an IP right, but also through careful marking of products. But at times, there may be a need to send out warnings to competitors who may appear to be misusing, or who are actually infringing IPRs, including use of the court system / dispute resolution. More