Peter Adediran’s specialist niche area of practice is copyright, trademark and patent disputes and protection relating to digital media including websites and mobile applications PAIL Solicitors. Read more on PAIL’s Resource Library or keep up with the firm on Facebook.
The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) is a specialist list of the Intellectual Property List (Chancery Division) which is meant for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The idea is to provide quick affordable access to justice for SMEs. The Intellectual Property List includes three sub-lists: Intellectual Property, Patents Court and the IPEC, and is part of the Business and Property Courts of the High Court. A Part 36 offer is the same whether used in intellectual property or any other type of commercial litigation except that there are different costs rules in IPEC. HM Courts & Tribunals Service provide a detailed guide for businesses, and legal practitioners online on how to take a case to IPEC.
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The author is a UK qualified and fully licensed current practicing solicitor specialising in intellectual property cases and digital technology. He is currently a Judicial Work Shadow Candidate for the Intellectual Property Tribunal
What is corporate veil?
The general legal rule for copyright infringement liability is that a company is a separate legal person from its directors. Generally, an act of the company is not necessarily an act of its directors personally. This is the case no matter how small the company is or how much the directors micro-manage the affairs of the company. As a separate legal entity, the private limited liability company is solely responsible for its liabilities and debts – the so called “corporate veil principle”.
This article sets out an overview of running an intellectual property dispute in England, it considers the initial matters that should be dealt with and forming a clear strategy from the outset as how to run the litigation.
Risks/Benefits analysis of litigating?
1. The first thing to consider is whether the proposed defendant has the financial means to pay legal costs and/or damages if your proposed litigation is successful.
IPEC is a court forum designed to make it cheaper faster and simpler to dispense with intellectual property cases for SMEs’. The costs are capped at £50,000.00 and the value of cases are capped at £500,000.00 although this can be waived. Note also that the costs cap of £50,000.00 can be waived where there is a part 36 offer – PPL v Hagan  EWHC 3076 (IPEC) (30 November 2016).
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Copyright in logos was considered recently by the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court. Once again IPEC has contributed another very helpful decision to English law for businesses related to the Internet by way of another judgment from His Honour Judge Richard Hacon.
The case is Atelier Eighty Two Limited and Klinworx Climbing Centre CIC and 2 other defendants  EWHC 2291 (IPEC).
The dispute was about ownership of copyright in logos but it affects all creative design and development work including website design and development.
the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court has multi-track and small claims track procedures. The small claims track procedure is particular useful to eCommerce (Internet)businesses who trade multiple branded products online and are continually victims of infringement but are put off by the prospect of long, complicated and expensive litigation. Small claims are suitable for cases of a value around £10,000 and costs are severely restricted. Damages in the multi-track procedure are limited to £500,000 and there is a cap of £50,000 on costs.