The Civil Procedure Rule Committee increased the IPEC costs caps in October 2022.
These changes mean that the maximum total costs awarded to a successful party in an IPEC multi-track claim will be as follows:
- £60,000 on the final determination of a claim in relation to liability (an increase of £10,000); and
- £30,000 on an inquiry as to damages or account of profits (an increase of £5,000).
The caps for each stage of a claim and each stage of an inquiry in Tables A and B in Practice Direction 45, Section IV will also be raised in consideration of the higher global caps.
It’s also of note to highlight that the IPEC costs provisions will be moved from CPR 45 (Fixed Costs) to CPR 46 (Costs – Special Cases).
Reacting to the planned changes Lindsay Gledhill, Intellectual Property Partner at Harper James commented:
On the face of it, an 20% rise seems like a significant change. However, the IPEC costs regime is still a world apart from the uncapped costs awards made in the other divisions of the Intellectual Property Lists in the High Court, in particular the Patents Court.
Although some small businesses may reluctantly decide that this increase in the risk they bear if they lose is the final straw and decide to abandon their quest for justice, most SMEs will still appreciate the high degree of certainty that the costs cap regime provides to them and their investors when making the difficult decision to commence litigation, provided they are willing to accept the accompanying cap on the damages they can win to £500,000.