Intellectual Property: The choice is yours
The Patents County Court was initially set up to hear smaller, lower-value cases that the Chancery Division's patents court, but a number of cases heard in recent years have blurred the jurisdictional lines between the two. Richard Willoughby looks at what this means for litigants
In 1990, the Patents County Court (PCC) was established to provide an alternative to the High Court for patent cases, primarily for small and medium-sized entities as well as for private individuals. The purpose of the PCC was to provide a forum that would enable such parties to enforce their patent rights, regardless of opponent. This was originally intended to be achieved through a combination of special procedures and rights for solicitors and patent agents to conduct litigation, and, in addition to the Bar, have rights of audience in the court. The PCC was supposed to provide a speedier and in particular cheaper means of legal redress than the High Court.
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