Patents County Court History

Following the report of the Committee chaired by Sir Derek Oulton in 1987, the Patents County Court (PCC) was set up in 1990. The PCC was intended to provide a less costly and less complex alternative to the High Court, Patents Court. The Patents Court is intended for larger and more complex claims.

Based initially in Wood Green in North London, the PCC moved to Park Crescent near Regent’s Park in the West End of London in the mid 1990s. In 2002 the court moved to Field House, Breams Buildings, and to St Dunstan’s House, Fetter Lane in 2008.

In June 2009, the Intellectual Property Court Users’ Committee (IPCUC) published a consultation paper setting out proposals for reform of the PCC and in July 2009 the working party’s final report was published. The proposals were adopted in the final report of the Review of Civil Litigation Costs by Lord Justice Jackson and on 1st October 2010 a new set of procedures was implemented in the PCC.

In 2011 the PCC moved to the Rolls Building along with the Chancery Division of the High Court (including the Patents Court), the Commercial Court and the Technology and Construction Court.

Following on from the proposals set out in the Jackson Review and in response to a further recommendation made in the Hargreaves Review, a small claims track within the PCC was set up and came into effect on 1 October 2012.

On 1st October 2013 the PCC was reconstituted as a specialist list in the Chancery Division of the High Court to form the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC). The reference to “intellectual property” in the name of the court is intended to recognise its broad intellectual property jurisdiction.

The practices and procedures in the IPEC after reconstitution are and are intended to be the same as the practices and procedures in the PCC before reconstitution. Save for a few minor adjustments to the rules which would have been desirable even if the court had not been reconstituted, the provisions of the Rules and Practice Directions applicable in the IPEC are identical to the Rules and Practice Directions which were applicable in the PCC.