CITMA Spring Conference 2023

It was a real pleasure to speak on IP insurance at the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorney’s spring conference which took place at the Waldorf Astoria in London recently. I caught up with friends and ex-colleagues and really enjoyed talking IP with people from around the world.

The audience was predominently made up of over 200 trade mark attorneys and a number of the talks focussed on recent developments in UK and EU trade mark and design law. These updates are important to keep abreast of how the law can affect clients .

My presentation focussed on how to mitigate the cost risk of trade mark litigation through the use of trade mark insurance. Specifically, the reasons why before the event cover is preferable to after the event insurance and third party funding, why the market for before the event IP insurance is growing rapidly, what the policies cover and how much they cost.

All the talks were immortalised in a great cartoon that artist, Caroline Chapple created during the course of the day. As you can see from the thumbnail, it really is a work of genius. I am depicted fighting off a scary trade mark infringer with a club, which just about sums it up.

IP insurance is now  piquing the interest IP owners and the IP community and, as I said to the attorneys in the room,  it is vital that they talk to their client about it because it can add real value to their trade mark portfolios. Most clients will not know  IP insurance even exists and so are unaware they can mitigate this significant business risk. Unfortunately, most insurance brokers in the UK  (the majority of of whom don’t know their trade marks from their patents) will not be speaking to their clients about this particular type of cover because they do not know enough about it. It therefore falls to to patent and trade mark attorneys to raise it as an option.

Now, IP insurance is not for every client but for those who are worried about the cost of litigation and have asked ‘what is the point of having IP if we cant afford to enforce it?’ they will really appreciate being made aware of the existence of this type of cover.

If you are interested in getting a quote for a client or your own business please give us a call or complete the short form here. The quote will take a day or to to prepare and there is no cost to you.

Thanks for reading!

Government Subsidised IP Audits

It is surprising how many IP rich business do not always know the full extent of their portfolio or its value. This is partly because IP is not always a priority for directors but also because gaining this understanding is a fairly complicated process that invariably needs expensive IP experts to advise on.

It is for this reason I wanted to let you know about an exciting opportunity to obtain a heavily subsidised IP audit.

Innovate UK EDGE have teamed up with the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) to offer innovative British businesses a grant of £2,500 for the cost of a professional IP audit. As a condition, the business must contribute a further £500. The Audit is then carried out by an IP professional.

IP audits are an excellent way of unearthing the true value of your IP and can help create a long term IP strategy that will enable your business to grow with a solid IP foundation. Innovate UK Edge’s website has more information on the benefits of IP audits and can be found here

Additionally, you could be eligible for a further £5,000 via the UKIPO’s competitive funding scheme, IP Access, to help you implement the recommendations made during your IP audit.

To take advantage of these subsidies I recommend you contact Innovate UK on 0300 123 3066 or via their online form here.  Alternatively you can speak with your IP advisor or drop me a line and I’ll advise on the steps you need to take.

It really is a great opportunity to maximise the value of your IP.

If you’d like to insure your IP you just need to complete the short form here and we can obtain a quote in 48 hours.  Alternatively, give us a call on 0203 633 0766, we love hearing from you!

IP Insurance: Why now?

Why is IP insurance becoming so popular in the UK at this moment in time? I think there are three main reasons:

  1. We live in an entrepreneurial age where every year in the UK over 500,000 new companies are incorporated. Each of these will have a name, many will be designing and manufacturing products and many will be offering a service. Each one is therefore creating new IP in the form of patents, trade marks, trade secrets and designs etc. The inevitable consequence of this huge amount of new IP being created is that companies will bump up against each other, whether intentionally or otherwise and infringe on each others IP.  Many more small businesses have run into IP issues as a result and are therefore more aware of the potential risks of litigation.
  2. In this modern economy company’s are much more aware of the value of their IP. Most businesses today do not have physical assets (stock, buildings etc) and the value lies in their technology, brand, customer lists and trade secrets etc. Given these are often the most valuable assets in the business prudent business owners are taking steps to mitigate the risk around them, such as putting IP insurance in place.  So whilst in the ‘olden days’ physical assets were routinely insured against harm, now its company’s intangible assets that are protected.
  3. Perhaps the most obvious reason is that IP insurance has never been easier to put in place and has never been cheaper. As the number of companies purchasing IP insurance grows, so the insurers are able to spread their risk across a bigger book of business and hence reduce the level of premiums. Entry level policies for UK trade mark owners is now a few hundred pounds per annum and it only takes a matter of hours to get cover in place. In fact the proposal form only takes a minute or two to complete. It can be found here


If your company has done all the right things and captured, protected and exploited its IP but you are concerned that it does not have the funds to protect this value, then please get in touch today.  IP insurance is a fantastic, comparatively cheap way to mitigate this significant business risk and will allow to grow your business without  the fear a competitor ripping you off or being sued for inadvertently infringing a third party’s rights.

To obtain a free quote please complete the short form here or give me, David, a call and we can talk through your options.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of IP insurance please have a read of the articles here and here and to learn about how the policies operate please read the article here


IP Insurance: How Do The Policies Work

As discussed in a previous blog IP insurance covers enforcement, defence and invalidity actions relating to both hard IP (patents) and soft IP (trade marks, copyright, trade secrets, designs etc). I am often asked how these policies operate in practice and below is a brief explainer.

Enforcement Actions

If an infringement of its rights is identified, the insured party must obtain an opinion from its solicitor on the likelihood of the claim succeeding. If the advice is that the claim has a reasonable prospect of success then the insurer will fund the action, subject to the terms of the policy. If the claim is lost and the insured party becomes liable for the other side’s costs, these are covered by the policy subject to the amount of cover the insured has purchased.

Invoices rendered by the insured’s solicitor can either be settled by the insured party who is then reimbursed by the insurer, or the insurer can settle invoices directly (less the co-insurance element).

Defensive Actions

If an insured party is sued for infringing a third party’s rights the insured must get an opinion on the likelihood any defence to the claim succeeding. This opinion can be prepared by the insured’s own advisor, the insurer does not have a panel of lawyers that have to be used.

If the advice is that the insured party has a reasonable chance of defending the claim then the insurer will, subject to the terms of the policy fund the defence of the action and if the claim is lost any damages that the court awards against the insured.

If the insured’s solicitors/attorney advise that any defence to the claim the insured party has is likely to fail, then the insurance will pay to extract the insured party from the litigation and pay any damages that are agreed to be paid to settle the action.

As with enforcement claims, invoices will be paid by the insured who is then reimbursed or the insurer directly.

If you’d like any further information on IP insurance and how the policies operate please give us a call on 0203 6330766.

If you’d like a quote, please complete the short form at the link here and we can obtain a free quote for you within 48 hours.

IP Insurance: What are the benefits for IP Rich Businesses

As the risk of Intellectual Property (IP) litigation in the UK, Europe and the USA grows, founders and IP managers at IP rich businesses should consider insuring these valuable assets. Other business assets are insured as standard (offices, stock etc) but if a company’s IP is infringed or if a company is sued for infringing the rights of a third party the damage can be greater then any other business risk.

IP litigation is expensive but IP insurance mitigates this risk by transferring the costs to an insurer. The key benefits are:

  1. Protects Cashflow: Rarely do IP rich businesses make provisions for IP litigation on their balance sheet. By putting an IP insurance policy in place such eventualities can be accounted for. It also allows decisive enforcement or defence actions to be taken without draining vital cash reserves;
  2. Increases Value Of Rights: Licensees, lenders and investors know they won’t have to pay for expensive legal action to protect business value which increases the  value of patents, trade marks and copyright. IP Insurance policies also cover indemnities in licenses and sale agreements which adds real value to those agreements;
  3. Provides a Deterrent: Many of our clients put evidence of their IP insurance policy on their website to deter competitors from copying their IP. If a potential infringer knows the IP they are intending to copy is insured (so that the owner has funding for any litigation) then they may think twice about their actions;
  4. Encourages Early Settlement: If a claim does arise we encourage our clients to let the other side know about the existence of their IP insurance policy early on. This confirms funding and can lead to the parties getting round the negotiating table earlier than would otherwise be the case. This is especially true if one party has larger revenue than the other and hopes to use this superior fire power to take advantage of their situation. In litigation, cash is king!

Whether a business owns patents, trade marks, copyrights or designs, IP insurance has many benefits and is now more affordable than ever. It makes sound business sense to learn more about how the policies operate and their cost.  It will often be a fraction of the overall IP budget.

When it comes to IP, businesses ask the question, ‘what is the point in having IP if you cant afford to enforce it!’. IP insurance provides a sound response to this argument and allows businesses to trade with confidence.

To obtain a quote all you need to do is complete the very short form here and we will get back to you with terms within 48 hours. Alternatively, please give us a call on 0203 633 0766 and we’ll be delighted to talk through your options.

CITMA’s Spring Conference 2023

I am delighted to have been asked to speak at the Chartered Institute of Trademark Attorneys’ Spring Conference on 16th March 2023 in London,  where I will be discussing how Trademark insurance can benefit both CITMA’s members and their clients.

The event is taking place at the world famous Waldorf Hilton Hotel and further details can be found at here. If you are attending the event please feel free to come and say hello!

If you’d like a quote for IP insurance, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0203 633 0766 or complete the short form here

IP Insurance: What Do The Policies Cover?

Intellectual Property (IP) Insurance can add real value to IP rich businesses but the majority of such businesses do not even know it’s available. The primary reason for this is that IP is seen by most insurance brokers as being a niche area so they tend not to talk to their clients about it for fear of giving incorrect advice.  Awareness has therefore remained low notwithstanding the significant benefits of having this type of cover in place.

This blog therefore sets out what the risks these policies cover and future blogs will look at how the policies operate, their cost and benefit.


The policies, which are underwritten by Lloyd’s of London, cover a range of different exposures, principally:

  1. Enforcement costs: If a company’s IP is copied, the policy will fund an action to stop the infringer and therefore prevent financial and reputational harm.
  2. Defence costs: If an insured company is sued for infringing a third party’s rights, and the legal advice is that it does infringe, the policy will fund the cost of extracting the insured party from the litigation and pay any damages that are agreed to be paid. If the insured’s legal advice is that it has a defence to the claim, the insurer will pay for the defence;
  3. Trade Mark and Patent oppositions in the UK and EU: If a company’s TM or patent application is opposed by a third party, the policy will fund the defence of that opposition;
  4. Contractual indemnities: When a company licenses or sells its rights to a third party, that third party will often require a warranty that the IP does not infringe any other IP rights. The licensor/vendor will also give an indemnity in the event that allegation of infringement arises. Exposures under such indemnities can be significant, especially if the licensee is a larger entity but these polices cover those exposures so the licensor’s risk is mitigated. Warranties and Indemnities are often a sticking point in license negotiations (with lawyers spending significant time negotiating their clients’ positions), so insuring the risk saves time and money and helps to facilitates these types of arrangements.

For IP rich business looking to exploit their IP either themselves or via licensees, IP insurance provides reassurance that, should an expensive claim arise, its costs will be covered by the insurer. At a time where the number of IP claims is rising, it makes sound business sense putting cover in place to protect the value of these important assets.

If you’d like to obtain a quote for cover please complete the short form here, and we will get back to you within two working days or give us a call on 0203 633 0766.

The Enemy Within: Mitigating The Risk of Employee IP Theft

When one thinks about IP theft it is often assumed the biggest risk is a competitor copying a patented product or a brand. However, a recent analysis of insider threats conducted by DTEX,  a workforce cyber intelligence and security company, confirms one of the biggest threats is actually employees stealing sensitive intellectual property when they leave an organization. The report, which can be found here, confirms that twelve percent of all employees take sensitive intellectual property (IP) with them when they exit a company.

We live in an age where employee mobility has never been higher and the ability to access and transfer data has never been easier. This is a dangerous combination for companies with sensitive data to protect i.e. every company! This data, which includes customer and price lists, sales information and confidential know-how, are all business critical and it can be extremely damaging when it falls into the wrong hands.

This is why it’s vital businesses take steps to safeguard their intellectual property. Restricting access only to those who need to use it, the extensive use of passwords, strict IT policies and exit interviews are all steps that can be taken to help reduce the risk.

If IP is stolen by an employee, legal action can be taken to limit the damage and recently there has been a significant rise in the number of claims against disgruntled employees who have stolen confidential information.

The good news is that these cases are covered by intellectual Property Insurance so, if you are concerned about the theft of your companies crown jewels, give us a call. We can talk through your options and how best to mitigate this risk.

If you would like a quote for Intellectual Property Insurance all you need to do is complete the short form here and we can get you on cover within hours.


Meta takes steps to protect intellectual Property online


Just a quick not to make you aware of additional tools Meta are making available to help brands stop infringement of their Intellectual Property (IP) rights on Facebook. Many of my clients are concerned about their trade marks being ripped off online and the changes to Meta’s reporting procedure should make it easier for brands to highlight concerns and have action taken.

Further information can be found in their press release here where Meta sets out the steps it has taken to help IP right holders on the site.

Remember, if you are concerned a third party may copy your IP whether online on elsewhere or that you could be sued for infringing a third party’s rights then IP insurance can mitigate this risk cost effectively.

All you need to do is complete the form at the link here and we can obtain a quote for you within 48 hours.

IP right holders across the UK and Europe now rely on IP insurance to enable them to take decisive legal action to protect their IP and their businesses. Action they would not be able to take otherwise.

Get in touch today.

I Feel The Need…The Need For IP Insurance!

My twelve year old son loves planes and, at the last count, has seen Top Gun: Maverick three times, twice with me! Its a great movie that manages to feel new and exciting whilst capturing the magic of the first movie.

However, its huge success has not gone un-noticed and Paramount, the films producers were recently hit with a copyright infringement action by the heirs of Ehud Yonay, the author of the article “Top Guns” which was published back in 1983, and inspired the first “Top Gun” movie.

Paramount paid a licence fee to use the article prior to making the first movie but that licence reverted to the Authors estate (Ehud Yonay died some years ago) in May 2020 and, whilst production on the movie had finished by that date, its release was delayed due to covid.

So who owned the copyright at the relevant date?

Paramount have stated they intend to defend the claim vigorously (as you’d expect with so much at stake) so we’ll have to wait for the court’s decision in California to know the outcome.

The moral of this story is that copyright, patent and trade mark disputes are on the rise and are costly. So whether you’re Paramount or the owner of a single patent, I would urge you to consider putting IP insurance in place. Not only will if fund unwanted IP litigation but can also act as a deterrent especially if a better funded third party is thinking about ripping you off.

Obtaining an IP insurance quote is easy, just head to our website here and complete the online form and we will get back to you with a quote within 48 hours.

Protect your investment in IP today and get in touch.