Intellectual Property Court expands small claims track

26th July 2019

Earlier this month, an updated Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) guide was issued outlining some key changes, one of which will come as good news to many; the expansion of the Intellectual Property Small Claims Court.

Businesses and individuals will be pleased to hear that from October 2019, district judges in the following courts: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle, will now be able to deal with claims of copyright and trademark infringements under the value of £10,000.

Previously, if a photograph you had taken had been used without your consent or your logo had been copied, you could only bring a small claim in London, where the district judges who specialised in intellectual property were based.

Typically, a small claims intellectual property (IP) issue would be reviewed by a judge, on paper, who might then require the parties to attend a final hearing in London to give witness evidence. The expansion of the IPEC Court is therefore good news for litigants in the regions as they now have more choice over where a hearing will take place.

The expansion is almost certainly going to appeal to individuals and businesses who have previously been deterred from making a claim, due to the difficulty they would face if their case required a full hearing in London. The same is true for those who have had an unjustified claims made against them. They may feel more willing to defend spurious claims (rather than conceding and paying the claim) now the ‘hassle factor’ of travelling to London has been removed.

Is this good news for you? Would this spur you on to pursue a claim where before you had been put off by the cost of having to go to London?

If you have been affected by any infringement, feel free to contact Steven Murray, our IP infringement specialist, on 01242 246 494 for a free half hour discussion.

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