In England and Wales, and Northern Ireland, parties are expected to try to resolve disputes before taking Court Action, for example by using a more informal dispute resolution mechanism. To facilitate this, litigants are expected to follow procedure to make contact with an infringer before taking any Court Action. This is called Pre Action Protocol. A judge may take into account the proper use of Pre Action Protocol in making a decision in a later court action. Scotland does not currently have Pre Action Protocol.
Pre Action Protocol expects correspondence with any infringer to include certain information. Even if Pre Action Protocol is not required, contacting an alleged infringer prior to taking court action may be useful. For example, you can request further information and evidence about possible infringement and establish their attitude towards your claim.
If in doubt, professional advice should be sought on complying with Pre Action Protocol.
The first step is to be clear whether the work is protected by copyright and whether the infringing behaviour has any legal justification (e.g. under a copyright exception).
If you are reading this section you have probably received an email, letter, Pre Action Protocol correspondence or court summons from a copyright holder…
Choosing an appropriate dispute resolution mechanism depends on a number of factors. For example, you should consider the following…
You may wish to use a third party to assist in enforcement of your copyright, such as a solicitor, a mediator or an arbitrator.
Sometimes court action appears to be the only appropriate way to resolve a dispute. The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court Small Claims Track offers a dispute resolution option…