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News - 4 October 2013

Patents County Court is renamed

The Patents County Court has been renamed the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) after changes came into force in October. The Court will now sit as a specialist listing within the Chancery Division of the High Court.

These changes mark the completion of a package of sweeping court reforms which the government has brought in to support businesses to protect their intellectual property and save them time and money.

Minister for Intellectual Property, Lord Younger said:
"These changes will also 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. This will reduce the cost of legal services and level the playing field for smaller business."

Lavinia Newman, founder of ABDS comments:
"Small businesses stand to benefit from better protection of their work. A better understanding of the IPEC's purpose will enable them to identify the appropriate court to resolve their intellectual property disputes."

The court has undergone a number of reforms in recent years that have simplified and streamlined procedures in order to reduce the cost and complexity of IP litigation.
The key changes have included:

  • the introduction of a scale of recoverable costs, capped at £50,000
  • a time limit on case hearings of one-two days to reduce costs
  • the creation of Small Claims Track for copyright, trade mark and unregistered design cases under a value of £10,000

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