May 25, 2017

What is the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court?

The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) is a specialist court operating within the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice. The court has existed in some form since 1990 but following a rebranding exercise in October 2013, the IPEC was formally established.

The IPEC has jurisdiction over intellectual property cases including patents, trademarks and passing off as well as other common intellectual property disputes, but also cases concerning database rights and breaches of confidence. EU intellectual property law is also frequently litigated in the IPEC.

The IPEC consists of two claims tracks which are utilised depending on the complexity and value of the damages sought in any litigation. The multi-track being used for higher value, more complex intellectual property cases and the small claims track being used for claims of a lower value.

A factor for IPEC litigants to consider is that damages are capped to £500,000, however in practice any damages to be recovered using the small claims track are capped at £10,000. If litigants anticipate a claim value within these caps, IPEC offers a streamlined court process designed to speed up the overall time taken to conclude a case.  Claims with an estimated value of over £500,000 are heard by the Patents Court and the Chancery Division.

Given the specialist nature of the IPEC, the court provides a valuable route for litigants to defend their intellectual property cases. Use of the IPEC tends to lead to quicker results for litigants given the fact that the IPEC often operates relatively fast, with active judicial case management and shorter trails being typical of IPEC cases.  The cap on damages in the Court is also another attractive feature for business users of the Court.

Claims issued by small and medium enterprises have been up by 68% in the IPEC over the past year demonstrating the value of this specialist court to those businesses. This is a new high for the IPEC.

It is clear that the IPEC can offer litigants aiming to protect their intellectual property rights with a specialist court geared around such law and for this reason should be given consideration should the court's intervention be needed.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0192 281 4000 or


in: Civil Procedure, Copyright, Designs, News, Patents, Trade Marks

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