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UK Intellectual Property Policy Reform: Newsbites from the Westminster Legal Policy Forum

westminster 2

IPCopy welcomes K2 IP Attorney Adam Brocklehurst for his inaugural blog post, which we hope will be the first of many! Adam was our reporter-on-the-ground at the Westminster Legal Policy Forum on 30 April 2013, and you can enjoy his whistle-stop-tour of the event here.

The Westminster Legal Policy Forum gathered in Whitehall this week for a wide-ranging discussion of hot IP policy and political topics.  IP Copy was there to pick up any interesting tidbits. Headliners were HHJ Birss, Baroness Wilcox, Sean Dennehey, representatives from the European Commision, and various speakers from practice and industry.

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The UK Intellectual Property Office – 160 years young

UKNext year the London Underground is 150 years old. With an extensive maintenance project underway some might say it is showing its age.

The UK Intellectual Property Offfice on the other hand celebrates 160 years this year and this IPcopywriter believes it is a case of 160 years young rather than 160 years old.

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Patents County Court – a trailblazer for efficient UK court proceedings

The Patents County Court was set up under its most recent guise in late 2010 under the stewardship of Judge Birss as Deputy Judge with the aim of providing efficient Intellectual Property case trials as an alternative to costly and timely High Court trials. The key provisions of the PCC are that costs are on a fixed scale capped at £50 000, damages which the court can award is limited to £500 000 and each trial is aimed to be concluded within 2 days.

The ever-innovative HH Judge Colin Birss QC has recently issued a second non-binding preliminary opinion during a trade mark case that was due to be heard at the UK Patents County Court (PCC). A non-binding opinion is an opinion of the residing judge, generally during the case management conference stage of proceedings (before trial) as to the likely outcome of the case, were the case to be tried at the PCC.

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Small Claims Track in PCC

On 1 October 2012 the Patents County Court (PCC) introduced a small claims track to run beside the PCC multi-track.

The small claims track will be suitable for claims up to a value of £5,000 and is expected to be of benefit to individuals and SMEs who previously may not have wanted to start claims in the PCC.

Cases in the PCC small claims track will be handled more informally than in the PCC multi-track. Suitable cases relating to trade marks or passing off, copyright and unregistered design right may be brought in the PCC small claims track. However, claims concerned with patents, registered designs (including Community registered designs) and plant varieties may not be brought in the PCC small claims track.

If you’d like to know more, speak to your friendly neighbourhood trade mark attorney

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