Streamlined procedures for cost-effective IP dispute resolution got a boost on 1 October with the launch of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC).
The IPEC replaces the former Patents County Court, whose simplified procedures introduced in 2010 made it possible for parties of all sizes and means to enforce and defend IP rights cost-effectively and with limited costs exposure. Now, the court has been reformed as a specialist list in the High Court, reflecting its impressive success as a forum for resolving lower-value disputes across the spectrum of IP rights.
This long-awaited change in status puts the court at last on an equal footing to the rest of the High Court and resolves minor jurisdictional problems that had arisen from its former status as a county court. The cost benefits and procedures that have made the PCC so attractive remain essentially unchanged, and the IPEC's launch marks a welcome new phase in making the enforcement and defence of IP rights possible for smaller and medium-sized entities, in particular.
The court retains its overall limit of £50,000 on recoverable costs and proactive case management and de facto docketing system that have made it so attractive to litigants of all sizes.
For enquiries about litigation in the IPEC, please contact David Musker or Angela Fox.