By Maximilian Clarke

Small businesses are set to benefit from a new Patents County Court specialising on intellectual property infringements, the government’s department for business, innovation and skills has announced.

Currently small firms are often put off enforcing their Intellectual Property (IP) rights by high costs. The new process will limit fixed costs and allow damages of up to £5,000 per case. New figures produced today by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) estimate that around 150 firms will benefit from the service every year, providing an annual boost to UK business of £350,000.

“This is great news for small and medium sized businesses as it will give them the confidence to stand up and protect their intellectual property rights,” commented the UK’s Intellectual Property Minister, baroness Wilcox. “A small claims process means businesses will not have to fight through lengthy court battles instead of concentrating on growing their business.”

The recommendation for a small claims service was made in the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth. Since the review was published in May 2011 the Government has been looking at building a business case for the service, which has now been completed meaning it will become a reality.

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