Broker Safeguard iP said that intellectual property infringements were becoming increasingly common place

The vast majority of small and medium-sized (SMEs) businesses are putting themselves at risk of being involved in costly legal cases because they not insuring their intellectual property (IP), broker Safeguard iP said.

Safeguard founder and former IP lawyer David Bloom said IP litigation was not only a threat to corporate giants, but that start-ups and smaller businesses were equally at risk, with as many as one in four UK micro-firms and SMEs being embroiled in IP disputes.

According to MoJ figures, since 2010, the number of IP related claims issued in the UK has increased by 42%.

Bloom said there was a lack of awareness among businesses that they needed IP insurance.

“The vast majority of rights holders are uninsured, and as such are exposed to losing the value of their business,” he added.

“I founded this company out of concern that so many SMEs do not insure their intellectual property. Businesses take the appropriate action to insure their physical assets, so it’s a great surprise that companies which invest in IP do not insure what is potentially their most valuable asset.

“IP insurance doesn’t need to be expensive, but infringements are becoming increasingly common place, and the legal costs of combating them can be devastating.” 

Safeguard iP, an appointed representative of Ten Insurance network, offers a range of insurance products for SMEs to protect themselves against patent, trademark, design and copyright litigation.

The policies, which are underwritten by insurers including Cigna, QBE and Liberty, protect against the legal costs of enforcing IP and defending allegations of infringement, damages awards and the profits lost, if IP is revoked.