Yesterday, the Small Claims Track of the Patents Count Court was launched – a new track designed to manage low value Intellectual Property law disputes.
For any business with IP claims with a value of up to £5,000, the Small Claims Track aims to be a quicker, cheaper and more informal route for resolving disputes. The Intellectual Property Office (which is responsible for trade mark, design and patent registrations in the UK) has said that this new track is an "important change for SMEs in accessing justice at proportionate cost".
The new track will deal with copyright, trade mark, passing off and unregistered design disputes, and is intended to work in a very similar way to the Small Claims Track for other civil law cases. However, the remedies are limited; for example, interim remedies such as interim injunctions and asset freezing orders are not available in the Small Claims Track.
The Patents County Court will also be renamed in the coming months, to recognise that it has a broader jurisdiction to deal with a range of IP matters.