Law changes facilitate IP protection for SMEs

New changes to the law will make it easier for small businesses to protect their Intellectual Property (IP) rights.

The Civil Procedure Rules, which govern civil litigation in England and Wales, are being amended from October 1 as part of a move to make it cheaper and easier for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to enforce rights.

The new procedures require the claimant to give much more information about the case they are bringing up front, enabling the court to reach a decision more quickly.

Changes include a cap on the costs recoverable set at £50,000, and a further cap on the amount of damages that can be awarded (£500,000), the latter set for April 2011.

Nick Wallin, patent attorney at Withers & Rogers LLP, says: ‘The current system is not conducive to encouraging SMEs to defend their IP rights – it is just too expensive and rarely considered a risk worth taking.

‘The rule changes will make it far easier and cheaper to access justice and this will encourage more businesses to protect their IP.’

See also: Five things to know about intellectual property

Related Topics

Intellectual Property