A Civil Justice Council working group was set up in 2022 to consider a number of aspects of the civil costs regime.
In a report released on 10 May 2023, the working group has recommended a new pilot scheme for patent cases in the Shorter Trials Scheme (STS) that would cap recoverable costs at £500,000. The Civil Procedure Rules Committee will now work with the IP Court Users Committee to devise the pilot scheme.
The STS already provides a number of ways to keep cases streamlined - trials limited to 4 days, limited disclosure etc. With the new costs cap it is hoped that the STS will provide a forum for cases where the £60,000 costs cap and £500,000 damages cap of the IPEC may not be suitable, but parties are put off accessing justice by the totally uncapped nature of claims in the the Patents Court where costs routinely reach multiple millions.
It remains to be seen whether the cap will eventually be rolled out to other IP cases in the STS.