Protection of Patent and Design Rights Eased by Rule Change

Posted: 28th June 2011

Changes to the law have been made with the effect that the limit on claims brought before the Patents County Court (PCC) to protect patent and design rights has been raised to £500,000, which means that hundreds of claims which would previously have been dealt with in the High Court can now be brought, at much lower cost, in the PCC.

The Patents County Court (Financial Limit) Order 2011 also creates a clearer definition as to which disputes can be heard in the PCC and which should go to the High Court. Previously, a business with a legal case worth less than £500,000 could face litigation in either court with unknown levels of financial risk.
The move will make it possible for smaller businesses to pursue actions which previously might have been too expensive to bring.
Work is now underway to extend the law further so that the damages cap for claims made in the PCC will also cover copyright and trade mark cases.