The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has introduced a new small claims track to the Patents County Court (PCC) to make it easier for UK internet users to defend themselves against claims of file-sharing piracy.
Until recently, Rights Holders suspected cases of internet copyright infringement were rarely taken to court and law firms favoured pursuing broadband ISP customers by sending settlement letters.
The IPO’s new track aims to provide Rights Holders with the option of pursuing basic copyright disputes through an informal hearing, without legal representation.
This is expected to “reduce the cost of pursuing Intellectual Property infringement cases“. Claims allocated to the new track will also be subject to cost restrictions of £5,000 or less.
Business minister Michael Fallon said: “Small firms, whose intellectual property has been infringed, will have today a simpler and easier way to take their cases forward, by writing direct to the judge and setting out the issues.
“Lower legal costs will make it easier for entrepreneurs to protect their creative ideas where they had previously struggled to access justice in what could often be an expensive progress. A smarter and cheaper process is good for business and helping businesses make the most of their intellectual property is good for the economy.”