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.