On 1st October 2013 the Patents County Court (“PCC”) saw its name changed to the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (“IPEC”). The change reflects the fact that the Court’s jurisdiction covers a wide range of intellectual property matters including trade marks, designs, and copyright as well as patents.
The IPEC now sits as a specialist listing within the Chancery Division of the High Court. This change of status means that the IPEC is now on an equal footing with the High Court and will be presided over by specialist Judges.
The restructuring follows the departure of Colin Birss as the presiding Judge of the then PCC after his promotion to the High Court in May 2013. Colin Birss, who was appointed to the role in 2010 and whose tenure was widely regarded as very successful, oversaw the introduction into the Court of a range of changes including:
- a scale of recoverable costs, capped at £50,000;
- a time limit on case hearings of 1 to 2 days;
- proactive case management; and
- the introduction of the small claims track for uncomplicated and low value trade mark, copyright and unregistered design right cases.
Colin Birss was seen as playing a pivotal role in turning the now IPEC into a cost effective and quick jurisdiction for smaller cases.
It is rumoured that barrister Richard Hacon is set to become the first full time specialist “Enterprise” Judge, a position which has been vacant since the departure of Colin Birss.
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This article is for general information only. Its content is not a statement of the law on any subject and does not constitute advice. Please contact Reddie & Grose LLP for advice before taking before any action in reliance on it.