Skip to main content
Business Protection Bulletin

If Your Idea is That Great, You Need Intellectual Property Insurance

By October 4, 2014No Comments

You have an idea that is unique. Perhaps it is a new process, or you invented a machine that works in a new way, maybe you wrote a book, computer code or a song. All of the above are examples of what intellectual property is.

IP Infringement and IP Insurance

When someone steals your intellectual property, it is infringement; there are several kinds of intellectual property infringements. They are:

* Patent infringement
* Copyright infringement
* Trademark infringement
* Service mark infringement

If you are a victim of any kind of infringement or accused of infringing someone’s intellectual property you face staggering legal bills. To protect your company and yourself from huge legal bills you must do two things.

1. Register your invention with the United States Patent Office (USPTO). Most people seek the help of a patent attorney, as navigating the USPTO is difficult. Through the patent office, you also record work that has protection by obtaining a copyright, trademark, or service mark.

2. Purchase intellectual property (IP) insurance. There are two kinds of IP insurance. One is defensive IP insurance that protects if you are the accused in IP infringement. The other is the offensive IP insurance which helps pay your legal fees if you own intellectual property that someone stole (infringed) from you.

Many small and medium-sized businesses count their intellectual property as their most valuable asset. If you value your IP, you need an Intellectual Property insurance policy that is both offensive and defensive.

Defensive IP Insurance

According to a study by Price, Waterhouse, Cooper more than 5,000 patent infringement lawsuits happened in 2012. Of them, three plaintiffs received judgments against defendants in excess of $1 billion. The number of lawsuits and the amount of the awards continues on an upward trajectory.

When you have defensive intellectual property insurance, the insurance company pays for your defense. If you lose, they help pay. The study concludes that IP lawsuits will continue to proliferate.

Offensive IP Insurance

If someone infringes your Intellectual Property, your recourse is a lawsuit. Legal fees for the plaintiff in an IP lawsuit are also considerable. An offensive IP insurance policy helps pay the legal costs of recovering compensation from whoever infringed your Intellectual Property.