Intellectual property (IP) can be a highly valuable business asset. And at RiskBox, we believe it should be adequately protected, just like your other company property. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you understand what IP is, and why you should insure it.
What is intellectual property?
Ultimately, IP refers to something that’s been created using your mind. If you have your own product designs, a strong brand and reputation, or a unique process or delivery system, you could have an IP exposure that we advise protecting against. The same goes for if you have your own inventions or you adapt existing technology. But with the right intellectual property insurance, you can safeguard your business against costly (and time-consuming) litigation.
While some industries have a clearer accepted intellectual property exposure, such as those in the digital or product design sectors, others are often overlooked. Here are a few examples of possible IP exposures for other types of business:
What types of issues can arise?
There are two areas where problems can develop with intellectual property:
These typically arise when there’s insufficient non-insurance-related protection in place. In other words, where a business hasn’t considered how valuable its IP assets are, fails to identify the risks from potential infringement, and hasn’t protected those assets through patent and other formal registrations.
When a business becomes involved in a legal dispute relating to IP, external issues arise. The company can incur significant costs to defend allegations of infringement, or to pursue its own rights. These rights can be critical to a business, as failure can prevent the company from trading, or stop it from profiting from its creativity.
What is intellectual property insurance?
Intellectual property insurance (IPI) can be loosely described as a specialist Legal Expenses insurance, combined with some additional benefits. Most policies provide core cover for defending against allegations of infringement, including payment of damages and costs awarded against should the case be lost.
Usually, it also includes cover for the pursuit of your intellectual property rights, as well as protection for loss of profits from such scenarios, and following temporary injunctions.
What are the benefits of this type of cover?
An IPI policy can protect your time and money in the event of a long and drawn-out dispute. It provides expert legal support, allowing you to focus on your business, and covers the costs, so you don’t need to worry about your company’s cash flow or bottom line. Plus, it removes the hassle of searching for suitable professional representation, as most IPI policies provide specialist solicitors to handle the claim.
Investors can also be a key driver for intellectual property protection. Sometimes they may require the company to have this in place before making an investment. And a business that’s already protected these intangible assets will be seen as a more attractive proposition to potential investors.
Support from RiskBox
We understand that intellectual property can be confusing, and it’s difficult to know if you need protection through insurance. But at RiskBox, we’re here to help.
If you have questions about any of the above, or you want to discuss intellectual property in more detail, speak to one of our trusted professionals. You can get in touch on 0161 533 0411 or fill in our contact form and we’ll get back to you.
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