Feeds

UK brings in small-claims court for intellectual property

Can't afford a lawyer? Accept this much smaller payout

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Small-biz bosses in England and Wales will find it easier and cheaper to protect their intellectual property from today.

That's the promise by Blighty's business minister Michael Fallon, who yesterday launched a new way to use the Patents County Court (PCC) to settle small claims of up to £5,000 without getting expensive lawyers involved.

The so-called small-claims track is part of the Coalition government's overhaul of law for small business.

Costs and damages in small-scale intellectual property cases are already capped, but claims will now be processed quicker as a result of the new track - with businesses able to write directly to judges setting out their case. Copyright, trademark and holders of unregistered designs will have the option of sorting out disputes through an informal hearing without legal representation. Fallon said:

Lower legal costs will make it easier for entrepreneurs to protect their creative ideas where they had previously struggled to access justice in what could often be an expensive progress.

A smarter and cheaper process is good for business and helping businesses make the most of their intellectual property is good for the economy.

However although copyright, trademarks and unregistered design cases can be chased through the small-claims court, other sorts of cases may not be. Patents and any lawsuits involving plant varieties will have to follow other procedures in the PCC.

The High Court will remain the venue for more complex and expensive cases, with potentially unlimited damage and cost awards.

The changes come after two separate reviews of the patent process, headed by Lord Justice Jackson and Professor Ian Hargreaves respectively.

The government's business department still recommends that legal action is a last resort for intellectual property disputes. They stressed that Blighty's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) provides alternatives for resolving basic disputes, including hearings before an IPO tribunal and the office's mediation services. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.