Number of High Court IP cases rockets 83 per cent

Intellectual property (IP) disputes in the High Court have shot up by 83 per cent in the past year as businesses move to protect their IP rights in the downturn.

Judicial statistics show that 422 IP cases reached the High Court in 2007 – up from 230 in 2006. Patents and registered design cases rose 95 per cent, while copyright and design rights claims were up 43 per cent.

Mark Finn, an IP specialist at South East firm EMW Picton Howell, said tougher economic conditions have prompted companies to take a more aggressive stance.

He added: “As businesses try to protect their profit margins and maintain market share, they’ll be more prepared than in the good times to fight to defend their brands and other IP rights against competitors.”