|Author Arpingstone Public Domain|
In Small Claims Track IP Litigation in Bristol and Cardiff (10 July 2019) I wrote:
"One of the most interesting announcements of the new Intellectual Property Enterprise Court Guide is the decision to appoint from October 2019 district judges to hear small intellectual property claims in Bristol and Cardiff (see The New IPEC Guide 4 July 2019 NIPC News)."
On Friday 18 Feb 2022, I actually appeared before that court or at least would have done had it not been for storm Eunice.
I received a brief to appear before the IPEC Small Claims Track a few days before the final hearing. It was intended to be an in-person hearing so I drove down the night before and stayed at a hotel near the Civil and Family Justice Centre.
I learned at the door of the court on the morning of the trial that the presiding judge of the Western Circuit had ordered all hearings in Bristol to be conducted online because of a severe weather warning. That could have been highly inconvenient as I was a long way from my chambers in London and my home in the North of England. I had brought my Chromebook but neither the head usher nor I could connect it to the court wifi system. I would have had to rely on my mobile to cross-examine and make submissions. Happily, my opponent practised in Bristol and he put one of the conference rooms in his chambers at my disposal.
It was a bit fiddly to log on to Teams but the judge allowed me all the time that I needed to get started. We were able to complete the hearing in the course of the day. Our tribunal was District Judge Woodburn who seemed to have a good knowledge of the applicable law. He mentioned that he had been in one of the cases that cited to him. I later found out that he had been President of the Bristol Law Society.
The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court Small Claims Track is one of The Business and Property Courts in Bristol. On 19 Nov 2021, I discussed IPEC Small Claims Track Litigation in Manchester in IP Northwest. These courts are being used and probably satisfy a longstanding need for quick and inexpensive IP dispute resolution.
Anyone wishing to discuss this article is welcome to call me on 020 7404 5252 during normal office hours or send me a message through my contact form.