Greetings Today magazine, giving you the bigger picture

Copyright protection made easier

Smaller businesses and independent greeting card designers will find it easier to protect their work after the Government introduced a new copyright law.

Industry organisations have been lobbying Government for a change in the rules to help reduce costs if a small or medium sized business needs to take legal action in a copyright dispute. A damages cap of £500,000 has been introduced for claims in the Patents County Court.

The decision means fewer cases are likely to end up in the High Court, which can lead to a prohibitively expensive legal bill for many smaller companies. Under the new rules claims of up to £500,000 will be heard in the Patents County Court - theoretically meaning lower legal bills. The move will also make it easier for businesses to judge the likely financial risk of any action to protect intellectual property (IP) rights.

ACID (Anti Copying in Design), which represents creative industry companies, has been heavily involved in lobbying for a rule change and Dids MacDonald, the organisation's MD commented: "This has been one of our key lobbying objectives for some time and whilst we welcome, as a first step, a more accessible justice system for SME's to enforce their IP rights, we also need a fast track IP small claims court for micro enterprises, who form the majority mass within the creative industries, and who will still find it prohibitively expensive to take legal action."

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