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New law will help SMEs protect their copyright and trade marks

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Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will be better able to protect their copyright and trade marks due to a new law giving a clearer idea of whether disputes should be heard in the Patents County Court (PCC) or the High Court.

Fewer SMEs should be put off enforcing their rights over intellectual property issues due to the change which came after the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth.

By capping damages at the PCC to £500,000 SMEs are less likely to incur the more expensive costs associated with cases going to the High Court.

The term intellectual property refers to creations, inventions, literary and artistic works, names, images and symbols as well as designs as long as they are used in commerce.

Baroness Wilcox, Minister for Intellectual Property, said: “Making it easier for small firms and entrepreneurs to use the legal processes will give them more time to concentrate on business activities, innovate and support economic growth.