Miranda Dobson

Member Article

Government simplifies Intellectual Property disputes for SMEs

Intellectual property will be easier to protect for small firms from today, as the Government introduces a small claims track to the Patents County Court (PCC).

Small and medium sized businesses will be able to put a case before a judge without legal representation for basic intellectual property infringement cases.

Copyright, trademark and unregistered design holders will be able to write to a judge directly to have a case heard at an informal hearing.

Cost restrictions of £5000 will ensure that claims put through the new track are appropriate.

Business Minister, Michael Fallon commented: “A smarter and cheaper process is good for business and helping businesses make the most of their intellectual property is good for the economy.

“Lower legal costs will make it easier for entrepreneurs to protect their creative ideas where they had previously struggled to access justice in what could often be an expensive progress.”

The reform has come as part of a series of Government measures to make the courts process more streamlined.

A cap on damages and legal costs have already been implemented to reduce expense and complexity of the legal system for businesses.

Further to these changes, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) will now offer court alternatives to resolve more minor cases.

Business will be able to have a hearing in front of an Intellectual Property tribunal, or go through the IPO mediation services to settle disputes, while legal action will only be recommended as a “last resort”.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Miranda Dobson .

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