Intellectual Property Insurance coverage protects companies for copyright, trademark or patent infringement claims arising out of the company's operation. It pays the defence costs and any judgement up to the policy limits.
You need Intellectual Property insurance if the threat exists that you could be sued by a competitor for infringing on an idea or intellectual property belonging to someone else.
As long as you are not aware of any known infringements or violations, you can apply for insurance to protect your trademark or patent. However in order to get coverage, you will be required to prove that you have completed an Intellectual Property search, or have filed a registration for a trademark, service mark, copyright or patent.
Patents are a set of rights which have been granted by a governing state, for the public disclosure of an invention.
Trademarks are a sign, indicator or symbol used by an individual or company to distinguish its products or services.
A competitor can financially wreck your company if you do not have the funds to hire a solicitor and pay the cost of all the legal fees associated with defending your right to a patent or trademark. An Intellectual Property policy will pay the costs to defend you if someone tries to claim the rights to the same business model, process, or application.
More than ever before, intellectual property claims involving infringement of patent, copyright and trademark are being filed and litigated at a tremendous cost to both parties.
Few standard insurance policies protect businesses from loss or damage to their intellectual property; however, a growing range of policies aimed specifically at intellectual property are available and businesses would do well to consider whether such a policy is available that is right for them.
A number of criminal and civil offences exist in copyright law. Careful consideration needs to be given to determine if the offence is indeed criminal or if it is a matter that can be resolved under civil law. Intellectual property laws vary greatly from country to country. Many developing countries and even some former Soviet and eastern European countries have insufficient protection for copyright holders, either due to a reluctance to enforce existing intellectual property laws or because such laws do not yet exist.