Unjustified threats of intellectual property right infringement
Produced in partnership with Ailsa Carter and John Coldham of Gowling WLG
Unjustified threats of intellectual property right infringement

The following IP practice note Produced in partnership with Ailsa Carter and John Coldham of Gowling WLG provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Unjustified threats of intellectual property right infringement
  • The introduction of the current threats regime
  • The definition of a threat
  • Exceptions
  • The threat consists of (ie is confined to) ‘primary acts’ of infringement
  • The threat is made to a ‘primary actor’ only
  • The communication containing the threat qualifies as ‘permitted’
  • Who may bring proceedings for the tort of making a threat of infringement proceedings?
  • Who can be liable for making a threat of infringement proceedings?
  • The safeguard for professional advisers
  • More...

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: What does IP completion day mean for intellectual property?

This Practice Note summarises the application and purpose of the law of unjustified threats in the UK. Anyone writing or sending a letter or other communication alleging, or even implying, infringement of an IP right in the UK should be aware of the risk of a claim (or counterclaim) being brought against them for threats.

Under the Practice Direction Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols, a potential claimant is required to set out its case sufficiently to allow the potential defendant to assess the claims made against it. Without sufficient care, sending pre-action correspondence to satisfy these pre-action requirements may mean that actionable threats are made. As a consequence, the pre-action requirements are sometimes deliberately not met in IP cases.

Since 1 October 2017, the UK’s threats regime has been governed by the legislative changes introduced by the Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Act 2017

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