Patent litigation in the UK has, in the past, had the reputation for being prohibitively expensive. However, that has changed with the introduction of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) as a lower cost alternative to the High Court. As Chartered Patent Attorneys and certified patent litigators we are qualified to conduct litigation in this court.
Patent litigation involves the use of a UK court to enforce or remove patent rights. This can be patent infringement cases, but also includes patent revocation, declarations of non-infringement, and actions for groundless threats.
The IPEC imposes a cap of £50,000 on recoverable costs for both sides, and in exchange places a £500,000 cap on the total amount of damages that are obtainable. However it is capable of implementing injunctions with the same force as the High Court. The IPEC is therefore ideal for use by small and medium companies involved in more modest value disputes.
As Chartered Patent Attorneys and certified patent litigators we are ideally placed to represent new or existing clients in patent litigation before the IPEC.
The limit on recoverable costs is intended to encourage the parties to keep their case compact and focussed on the main issues. To achieve this, our approach is to operate a lean but effective professional team, usually one partner level Chartered Patent Attorney and a hand-picked IP Barrister. This allows us to provide a full professional patent litigation service, keeping costs under control. In our experience this can result in costs substantially less than using traditional solicitor firms.
It is clearly desirable to resolve patent disputes without recourse to the courts. However, often parties are not willing to negotiate. The prospect of patent litigation can be a powerful tool in bringing a party to the table in order to reach a settlement, often without reaching the final stage of a trial at court.
Whether we are representing you as a defendant or a claimant, our first step would be to carry out a thorough patent infringement and/or validity analysis. This is something that, as experienced patent attorneys, we are uniquely specialised at carrying out. This will provide you with an assessment of the strength of your case.
If we are representing you as a claimant, we would begin with pre-action correspondence, which can sometimes be effective at bringing the other party to the table even before patent litigation is initiated. If negotiation is unsuccessful would we then consider initiating patent litigation.
If we are representing you as a defendant, then we can advise you whether your case is strong enough to defend in the court or whether you might be better attempting a negotiated settlement.
Either way we will provide you with all the advice you need to come to the right decision for you in reaching a resolution.
If you have not begun patent litigation in the UK because of the perceived cost, and whether you are an existing client or not, we can help with your patent litigation needs.