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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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