Own-it | Intellectual Property Know-How for Creative Businesses

Small IP claims

Small IP claims

Published: 18.01.12 at 13:18

The government is set to introduce a small claims service to the Patents County Court - reported here in the IPKat. Despite its name, the court deals with disputes concerning all manner of intellectual property rights. This service will help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) protect their copyright, trade marks and designs.

According to the press release, small firms are often put off enforcing their rights by the high costs. This new service will be created for low value IP claims. It will limit fixed costs and cap damages at £5,000 for each case. A small claims process typically means that the length of any dispute will be shorter than usual allowing applicants to concentrate on growing their business.

This recommendation was made by the Hargreaves Report, reported here and here. Evidence from this report indicated that around 1 in 6 (17%) of SMEs had given up attempting to enforce their rights due to high court costs. With any luck the new system, due to be implemented this autumn, will give SMEs renewed confidence when enforcing their rights.

Photograph (some rights reserved) by red flier


Please note that this article discusses the legal position in the UK at the time of publication. It provides general information only but is not to be regarded as legal advice. You must take advice from a specialist lawyer in relation to your specific circumstances. Further, you should seek additional legal advice when dealing with parties based in other parts of the world or works originating from other parts of the world as the legal position may vary.


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