The key to reaching a successful outcome to a dispute is to ensure that the business objectives are clear. Reaching these business objectives and concluding the dispute as quickly as possible is the best way to limit the costs and damage to the business. Even so, sometimes the other side’s position is unacceptable and the only way to bring closure to the dispute is to seek a final decision through the courts.
The relief available through the courts includes injunctions to prevent competitors from doing something, compensation for previous infringements, declarations of invalidity or of non-infringement, and costs awards against the losing party. As such, the decision to initiate court proceedings is available as a weapon to the attacker as well as the alleged infringer. Tactics come into play, and as always, the earlier advice is sought the more options remain available.
In the UK, IP disputes can be brought through the High Court or the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) (formerly the Patents County Court). The difference being that in the high court, damages, disclosure and costs awards are not limited. On the other hand, the PCC ,where respected decisions can be given in 12-18 months, means that it is becoming a popular arena for settling Patent, Trade Mark, Design and Copyright disputes.
Patent and Trade Mark attorneys bring experience in technical expertise as well as infringement analysis, and play an important role as part of the team in any successful litigation.