New claims track to lower court costs
Small and medium sized businesses whose intellectual property (IP) rights have been infringed will now be able to take their cases forward in an easier way thanks to the introduction of a new small claims track to the Patents County Court (PCC).
The small claims track will provide copyright, trade mark and unregistered design holders the option of pursuing basic IP disputes through an informal hearing, without legal representation, also giving small firms the chance to write directly to the judge and set out issues.
This is expected to speed up the court process and significantly reduce the cost of IP infringement cases. Claims allocated to the small claims track will be subject to cost restrictions of £5,000 or less to ensure they are proportionate to what is at stake.
Business Minister Michael Fallon welcomed the announcement, stating lower legal costs would make it easier for entrepreneurs to protect their creative ideas.
He added: “A smarter and cheaper process is good for business and helping businesses make the most of their intellectual property is good for the economy.”
Other changes already introduced by the Government to simplify and streamline court procedures include a cap on damages and a limit on legal costs.