New Small Claims Track for IP cases


On 1st October, the Patents County Court introduced a small claims track which aims to deal with certain copyright, trademark, trade secrets and unregistered design right disputes in a more informal and cost effective manner. The normal rules of disclosure and evidence are significantly relaxed and a dispute can be heard and decided on with or without legal representation at an informal court hearing before a judge.

As before, if clients so wish, Patent Attorneys can represent clients before the County Court without the need to appoint a barrister. The intention is to simplify and significantly reduce the cost of pursuing claims in these areas of intellectual property.

The value of any claim pursued through the small claims track is presently limited to an upper value of £5K although it is expected that this value will be increased to £10K next year.

The fast track will have particular relevance to cases where sales of infringing products have just started and where the potential award of damages is accordingly not significant.

The choice of venue is important when embarking on an infringement claim and we at Agile IP are well able to assist clients in making the correct decision. Where damages are likely to be higher, for example, the High Court and the Patents County Court’s traditional route are more likely to be appropriate. Please call for further information.