Defend your intellectual property

5. Take legal action

You can file legal proceedings either through the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) or through the courts.

Some types of proceedings can only be filed through one or the other.

A court will expect you to have tried to resolve your dispute - possibly using mediation - before starting legal proceedings.

You can pay an Intellectual Property Professional to help you.

File through IPO

Contact IPO for more information on filing through them.

File through the courts in England and Wales

The court you go to depends on the nature, complexity and value of your claim.

Claims below £10,000

Use the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) small claims track if your claim is for less than £10,000 and for infringement of one of the following:

  • copyright
  • passing off
  • trade marks
  • breach of confidence
  • unregistered design rights

You don’t need a lawyer to use the IPEC small claims track.

Claims up to £500,000

You can take a case for any IP right to the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) if you do not wish to claim more than:

  • £50,000 for legal costs
  • £500,000 for damages

If you’re claiming more than £500,000 in damages

Use the Chancery Division of the High Court of England and Wales - there are no limits to legal costs or damages you can claim.

File through the courts in Scotland

Use the Court of Session if your claim is complex or valuable - there are no limits to legal costs or damages you can claim.

File through the courts in Northern Ireland

You can use the Chancery Division of the High Court of Northern Ireland if your claim is complex or valuable - there are no limits to legal costs or damages you can claim.