UK announces IP court rebrand

UK announces IP court rebrand


As of October 1, the UK Patents County Court will be known as the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) and will sit within the Chancery Division of the High Court in London.

The change in name has been administered by the UK government in order to clarify that the court covers all aspects of IP and is not solely restricted to patent cases. 

The UK’s IP Minister Lord Younger said the changes would “re-energise” the court.

“The changes make it a viable place for businesses of any size to protect their IP and ensure access to justice at a fair cost for all rights holders and other businesses,” Younger said.

“These changes will also make it easier and cheaper for businesses in the long run as they will now be better able to understand and navigate the specialist IP courts if a dispute occurs. This will reduce the cost of legal services and level the playing field for smaller business.”

The change in name follows a number of reforms to the court in recent years including the introduction of a scale of recoverable costs, capped at ?50,000, and a time limit on case hearings of 1 to 2 days to save on costs.

The news has been welcomed by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), the professional and examining body for the UK’s patent attorneys.

“Today’s announcement is good news for enterprises, especially SMEs. They should now find it easier and less expensive to resolve an IP dispute in the courts,” CIPA President Roger Burt said.

“We congratulate the government on putting in place this last piece of the jigsaw it has been working on for several years,” added Burt.

“Changing the name to the IPEC neatly brings this process to a conclusion and makes it clearer to the public what the court actually does.”

Also launched on October 1 was a new fast-track opposition procedure for UK trademark cases designed to help small- and medium-sized enterprises file oppositions at a reduced cost.

The IPEC is yet to find a replacement for former judge Colin Birss, who was appointed as a justice in the England & Wales High Court in May this year.

(Source: WIPR)

People watch

It is lucky for Chen Jun to began his career in the IP industry 14 years ago when the first group of IP managers for businesses appeared on the stage in China and he has been in the industry.

It was this “Whampoa Military Academy” for IP that educated China’s first batch of corporate IP management personnel. Many of these engineers left Foxconn in the years since.