Intellectual Property Insurance

Intellectual property—patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets—may be more important to your business than tangible assets.

Intellectual property (IP) insurance can help cover legal expenses involved in defending and enforcing your rights.

What Does Intellectual Property Insurance Cover?

What is Intellectual Property?
As IP becomes a vital part of more firms’ assets, businesses must consider the additional exposures they face. While certain industries such as manufacturing, computer software and pharmaceuticals face higher exposure levels to IP infringement suits, almost all businesses today must consider the possibility of a claim.

Some examples of Intellectual Property
There are several types of intellectual property protected under the law, including: trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets. If the threat exists that (1) your company could be sued by a competitor for infringement or intellectual property theft, or (2) you do not have the funds to cover legal fees associated with defending your patent or trademark, it is vital that you purchase an IP insurance policy.

Why do I need Intellectual Property Insurance?
It is estimated that IP theft costs companies billions of pounds a year in lost revenue.Understanding your intellectual property and how to protect it is essential for a business to be successful.

Cover for Legal Fees
IP insurance can help cover legal expenses involved in defending and enforcing your rights. Defending infringement litigation is often an expensive and lengthy process. The average patent suit in the United Kingdom can exceed £250,000 per side.

Intellectual Property questions

There are four main kinds of intellectual property which can be protected:

  • inventions such as new products and processes
  • decorative designs, and designs for the appearance or shape of a product
  • names and symbols for your product or service – trade marks
  • original written publications, recordings and other material such as websites, plans and blueprints, parts lists, catalogues, promotional literature, manuals, works of art, photos and other images and formats and layouts for publications such as newsletters, webpages or other material.

Common Types of Intellectual Property

  • Patents give your company the legal right to exclude anyone else from marketing and selling your invention. They can also be registered in foreign countries, further expanding your right to the invention. Patents can last for 20 years, but must be renewed periodically.
  • Trademarks are something that makes your brand recognisable and differentiates you from your competitors. In addition to slogans, trademarks can be a name, sound, logo or symbol related to a company. Trademark registration lasts 10 years and is only valid in the country of registration.
  • Copyrights protect original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression, such as novels, songs, poetry, computer software and movies. It does not protect things such as facts, ideas or methods of operation. There is no official copyright registration system, but it exists from the moment of authorship. Copyrights typically last for the entirety of the author’s life plus an additional 70 years.
  • A trade secret can be tough to define, but it is essentially commercial information that provides a business with an advantage over competitors who do not have that information. Trade secrets are generally not known to the public and a business must make reasonable efforts to maintain their secrecy.

Failure to Provide Protection

Failing to provide the sufficient amount of protection for your company’s intellectual property can lead to lost sales and high legal fees to catch the criminals to get your stolen information back.

As your business grows and develops, your insurance needs will undoubtedly change. FOCUS will work with you to ensure that the exposure and risks faced by your business will be protected, leaving you with complete peace of mind.

To find out more, contact us