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Defend your IP rights with 'small claims' court option

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A new small claims track has been introduced to the Patents County Court, which is intended to speed up the court process and make it cheaper and easier for small and medium-sized businesses to protect their intellectual property (IP) rights.

The small claims track will provide copyright, trade mark and unregistered design holders the option of pursuing basic IP disputes through an informal hearing, without legal representation.

One of the largest barriers to small and medium-sized businesses pursuing infringement cases in the past has been the cost and complexity of legal proceedings. Hopefully the new track with significantly reduce these costs.

However, claims allocated to the small claims track will be subject to damages restrictions of £5,000 or less. Changes already introduced include a cap on damages and a limit on legal costs to reduce the cost and complexity of legal action for businesses.

In addition to the recent changes, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) can also provide businesses with alternatives to court action for resolving IP disputes, including hearings before an IPO tribunal, or using the IPO's mediation services. This course of action is recommended as an alternative to legal action.

Find out more about the types of intellectual property your business might own and how to protect them.

Last updated 6th June 2016.

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