What is the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court? – A Basic Understanding

What is it? 

The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court [IPEC] is based in London and is within the High Court umbrella. It was previously ‘The Patents County Court’, however was changed in October 2013 to demonstrate its inclusivity for all intellectual property claims, not just patent claims. The judges here are known as ‘Enterprise Judges’ and are full-time within the IPEC.

What claims are heard here? 

The court covers cases relating to many intellectual property claims, including those relating to: 

  • Patents
  • Registered Designs
  • Copyrights
  • Registered Trade Marks

Advantages:

  • The court aims to offer more affordable intellectual property cases, with the costs estimated to be one fifth of an average High Court intellectual property claim. 
  • The cases here are guaranteed to be faster than a High Court case, averaging no more than two days, with most completed in one. This brings faster resolutions to disputes.
  • The use of evidence within the IPEC is limited, also helping to achieve a shorter trial time.
  • They are considered by a full-time, specialist judge, providing uniformity within the court’s approach.
  • The specialist judge will also be involved in active case management, mitigating deceitful or arguable tactics from either party.
  • The IPEC has a limit on the recoverable costs by the successful party, this enables both parties to feel comfort knowing that they will not unreasonably be out of pocket if their claim is unsuccessful. (No more than £50,000 for liability claims and no more than £25,000 as damages.)
  • Although based in London, to save parties further litigation costs, IPEC trials may be heard outside of London.

Disadvantages: 

  • By having remedies limit, complex cases involving detailed evidence will often be heard in a different court, likely incurring higher costs during the trial.
  • The limit to remedies also results in difficulties preparing the cases, as the claimant may be out of pocket even if successful.
  • The strict time limits in place could cause stress for both parties.
  • The time limits also provide the Judges with the ability to impose cut-offs if a party exceeds their time limit during the hearing, resulting in parties’ cases not being heard as they may have wanted.

Overall, the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court has more pros than cons, and its use has aided in the efficient execution of many intellectual property disputes.

If you would like to discuss IPEC and any intellectual property matters, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Lawdit team today.

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