The Patents County Court has been renamed the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC). The change of name clarifies that the Court deals with all forms of IP, not just patents. The IPEC sits within the Chancery Division of the High Court and the change of name marks the end of a range of reforms brought in to assist business in protecting their intellectual property.
Catherine Wolfe, partner at Boult Wade Tennant, praised the move, stating
“At last the name of the Court reflects the areas of activity of the Court. The implication that only patents were discussed in the Patents County Court was always misleading. Now that the Patents County Court has been renamed the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, it is clear to all that its interest lies in all Intellectual Property”.
We believe the IPEC provides better access for SMEs and individuals to a streamlined process for lower value claims, with capped costs and damages. However, users should be aware that the IPEC is not the only forum available. Even when a case begins in the IPEC there is still the possibility of transfer to the High Court and appeals can go up to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Legal issue can also be subject to referrals to the Court of Justice of the European Union. These possibilities come with associated (much) higher price tags in terms of cost.
For more information on the IPEC please speak to your usual advisor.