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ACID Campaigning Landmarks

Small Claims Track Introduced

Small Claims Track for IP Disputes

On learning of the Government’s intention to establish a Small Claims Court for Intellectual Property cases with a value of less than £5000, ACID said, “For many years, ACID has championed the need for cost and time effective access to an IP Court system that will work for small businesses which need to take action against the growing amount of infringement issues they have to face. In welcoming Government’s initiative following the Hargreaves Review ACID will look forward to contributing to the debate on the design and development of a simplified Court process.”

Dids Macdonald, CEO of ACID commented, “This is a significant step forward to support small businesses in their continuous battle against copyists but it will only work effectively if the system itself is user-friendly and free from cumbersome bureaucratic and legal process complications. For the majority of UK’s  design community who have less than 4 employees and find it cost prohibitive to pursue legal action, this will be a welcome initiative.” 

The IPEC is a specialist list in the High Court and one of the courts in the Intellectual Property List in the B&PCs. It provides a streamlined and cheaper way of resolving lower value and less complex intellectual property claims for businesses and individuals.

While its procedure is based on the usual small claims track rules, IPEC small claims disputes concern not only damages but also non-pecuniary remedies, such as a final injunction or a declaration of non-infringement (though applications for an interim injunction cannot be heard in the IPEC small claims track).

Appeals from these cases will also be able to be issued and, as far as possible, heard in those courts.

In practice the Small Claims Track (SCT) can be a daunting prospect, so ACID produced a guide to using the SCT to support those needing to take action.

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