IP Reforms Continue with Introduction of Intellectual Property Enterprise Court

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As the latest in a series of recent intellectual property reforms, the Patents County Court has been renamed the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) and will sit as a specialist listing within the Chancery Division of the High Court.  The renaming to IPEC is intended to clarify the jurisdiction of the court, making it clear that it does not just cover patents.

The change is intended to provide additional support to businesses, particularly SMEs, to protect their intellectual property and save both time and money in the process of enforcing their intellectual property rights.

Lord Younger, the Minister for Intellectual Property, said that “These changes will make it easier and cheaper for businesses in the long run as they will now be better able to understand and navigate the specialist IP courts if a dispute occurs.”

The key changes can be summarised as follows:

–          A scale of recoverable costs has been introduced, capped at £50,000.

–          There is now a two day time limit on case hearings in order to reduce costs.

–          A Small Claims Track for copyright, trade mark and unregistered design cases under a value of £10,000 has been created.

Regardless of the reforms, entering into litigation is unlikely to ever be cheap.  It is therefore of paramount importance to ensure that the intellectual property in your business is protected to the greatest extent to try and avoid the need to litigate.  Simply converting your unregistered intellectual property rights to registered rights can be a relatively cheap way of achieving this.

For advice on how you can protect the intellectual property in your business or to enforce your rights in the event that they are being infringed, contact the Forbes Solicitors Business Law team or call 01254 222365.

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