From 31 October 2019, claims in the small claims track (SCT) of the IPEC can be issued and heard in Business and Property Courts (B&PCs) in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle, as well as in London.
The IPEC is a specialist list in the High Court and one of the courts in Intellectual Property List in the B&PCs. It provides a streamlined and cheaper way of resolving lower value and less complex intellectual property claims for businesses and individuals.
Its small claims track hears the most straightforward intellectual property cases, where less than £10,000 is claimed. Its focus is mainly on claims relating to copyright, designs, passing off and trademarks. The hearings in the small claims track are short and informal, the parties are frequently unrepresented and the loser seldom has to pay the winner’s costs.
While its procedure is based on the usual small claims track rules, IPEC small claims disputes concern not only damages but also non-pecuniary remedies, such as a final injunction or a declaration of non-infringement (though applications for an interim injunction cannot be heard in the IPEC small claims track).
Appeals from these cases will also be able to be issued and, as far as possible, heard in those courts.
These IPEC small claims will be issued and documents filed online in the seven centres outside London.
For those who have not used electronic filing before, further guidance can be found on GOV.UK including on how to register as a user, the payment of fees, security and data protection, as well as the five simple steps required to use the system, and where to go for further help.
The email address for enquiries about electronic filing is EfileSupport@justice.gov.uk
The contact details for the courts are:
Birmingham – Dot Byrne
Bristol – Jane Pawsey
Cardiff – Tracey Davies
Leeds – Olivia Jerome
Liverpool – Helen Sandison
Manchester – Julie Bagnall
The Guide to the IPEC Small Claims Track (external link, opens in a new tab) is currently being updated to reflect these changes.