Intellectual property dispute? How about trying IPEC?
What is it?
The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (‘IPEC’) is a specialist court designed to provide a cost effective forum for intellectual property claims including:
- Infringement or patents, designs, trade marks, copyright, database rights and any other intellectual property rights;
- Amendments of patents;
- Declarations of non-infringement;
- Employee’s compensation in respect of a patented invention;
- Misuse of trade secrets and other breaches of confidence.
It started life as the Patents County Court but has evolved to deal with all intellectual property issues quickly and efficiently.
How is it different from bringing a claim through the High Court?
The clue is in the name – the IPEC solely deals with intellectual property disputes which means that the cases are handled by a specialist judge.
The whole system has been streamlined and parties are expected to set out their cases in full at the start. If parties want to file further evidence or request further documents as the claim progresses then they can only do so with the judge’s permission.
Applications are often dealt with on paper or over the phone and trials are limited to a maximum of 2 days.
Most importantly, damages are limited to £500,000 and recoverable legal costs are capped to avoid any nasty surprises at the end of a hearing.
Who should use it?
Due to the cost and recovery capping, the IPEC is the most appropriate forum for smaller, shorter, less complex, lower value claims. Or anyone who is looking to recover damages under £500,000 and wants certainty on their legal costs.
The IPEC is mostly used by SMEs who have intellectual property issues but don’t want to follow the traditional (and often more expensive) High Court route.
What powers does it have?
The IPEC can make the same orders as the High Court, including damages or an account of profits but these are capped at £500,000. It can also order final and interim injunctions, delivery up of documents and disclosure.
How do I start a claim?
Please contact Richard Gore on 0117 906 9424 for more information.