From 1 April 2011 all claims must be issued at the RCJ, Chancery Registry, Strand, London WC2A 2LL.
Prior to issuing a claim in the Patents County Court (“PCC”) the Practice Direction on Pre-action Conduct should be followed.
Once the Claim is issued the Court will serve the documents (with a response pack) unless the Claimant wishes to serve. Where the Claimant wishes to serve a sealed Claim they must obtain the sealed Claim Form from the Court and then serve.
Part 15 of the Civil Procedure Rules apply but are modified by rule 63.22 with regard to the time limits for filing a Defence and/or reply. Rule 63.22(2) states “Where the particulars of claim contain a confirmation in accordance with rule 63.20(2), the period for filing a Defence is 42 days after service of the particulars of claim unless rule 15.4(2) provides for a longer period to do so”.
Rule 63.20(2) states “The particulars of claim must state whether the claimant has complied with paragraph 7.1(1) and Annex A (paragraph 2) of the Practice Direction (Pre-Action Conduct)”.
Where the Particulars of Claim confirms that the Claimant has complied with the Practice Direction on Pre-action Conduct (Rule 63.22(2) and (3)) the time limit for filing a Defence is 42 days. Where the Particulars of Claim do not confirm the compliance the time for filing a Defence is 70 Days.
An example compliance paragraph is “The Claimant confirms that it has complied with paragraph 7.1(1) and Annex A (paragraph 2) of the Practice Direction (Pre-Action Conduct)”.
The time limit for a Reply to a Defence is 28 Days from the service of the Defence under rule 63.22(4). The time limit for a Defence to Counterclaim under rule 62.22(5) is 14 days from the service of the Defence.
An extension of time to the time limits must be granted by the Court.
By Michael Coyle a Solicitor at Lawdit Solicitors