Small firms to get more legal protection for intellectual property

  • Posted

Posted 14/06/2011

Reforms to commercial law that are intended to make it easier for small and medium-sized firms to protect their intellectual property have been announced by the government.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has introduced a £500,000 cap on claims made in the Patents County Court (PCC) that should remove the possibility of small firms facing a potentially expensive hearing at the High Court.

It also clearly establishes which disputes will be heard in the PCC and which will be sent to the higher authority.

The changes will hopefully mean smaller firms will no longer be put off making claims to protect their designs and patents out of fear of how much it could cost them to do so.

Baroness Wilcox, minister for intellectual property, said the new rules will “provide clarity over the legal processes, certainty over the risks and give small enterprises the confidence to stand on an equal footing with financially stronger companies”.

The PCC was established in 1990 to provide a less expensive and simpler alternative to the High Court for smaller, less complex claims.


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