The role of Intellectual Property Insurance in post-Brexit innovation


Following the UK’s decision in 2016 to leave the European Union, negotiations between Britain and Europe continue with no clear date for conclusion. In the face of Brexit, the consequences for UK businesses remain unclear, but there has never been a better time to reduce risk and maximise opportunities with Intellectual Property (IP) Insurance, explains Jo Green, Underwriter, Legal Expenses, at International General Insurance (IGI).

How can an Intellectual Property policy help to safeguard UK businesses during the uncertainty of Brexit?

Deal or no deal, Intellectual Property Insurance supports innovation. It protects businesses against adverse costs and damages associated with IP infringement disputes and provides peace of mind to those who own, trade or license their creations. Businesses can exploit their IP in the knowledge that they are insured if they need to defend against allegations of infringement or enforce their IP rights against an infringer. 

Legal Expenses Insurance from IGI is already safeguarding businesses against the heavy burden of litigation costs. The imminent launch of IGI’s Intellectual Property Insurance covers all this and offers wide protection for patents, trademarks, copyright, design rights and contractual liabilities concerning IP.  It also covers orders to pay damages, all of which can cause financial ruin to any business caught up in an expensive IP dispute. 

Investing in IP insurance to reduce risk, especially in times of unprecedented uncertainty, should now be an essential concern to any business, whether their strategy is global or UK-centric. Having this insurance allows businesses to maintain strength of brand when differentiating their product offering from those of the competition. By providing bespoke coverage and limits of indemnity, it can also help businesses to access and compete in international markets alongside larger competitors with greater resources.

What are the considerations for UK innovation in the face of Brexit?

Products and services that are commercialised according to their Unique Selling Proposition (USP) rather than price alone are more likely to succeed in an uncertain post-Brexit landscape.

At the moment, the UK is facing uncertain costs, along with potential barriers to trade, unless an all-important deal is struck.

What opportunities can Brexit bring for the SME market?

The SME market plays a vital role in bringing innovation to the UK economy and promoting prosperity. It is important, particularly in this uncertain trading landscape, that they compete from a position of strength. 

By now, most businesses will have some form of Brexit strategy, which should include a detailed review of their brand and product offering alongside their USP to capture all possible opportunities outside the UK and in their target EU markets. 

This should identify any potential implications in licenses and agreements that may lie ahead, including jurisdiction clauses or collective references to EU IP.

The UK government has given assurances that all existing EU patents, trademarks and designs owned by UK businesses will remain protected after Brexit by creating comparable law. However, it is possible that the enforcement of UK judgements in the EU - and of EU judgements in the UK - could become more expensive, with a risk of parallel litigation leading to conflicting judgements.

How can brokers identify an IP opportunity?

Firms with innovation at their core can better prepare against risk and uncertainty by insuring their IP - which can be their most valuable asset. This insurance should be viewed as an investment in the development of innovation as it allows firms to continue with the research and development needed to maintain a competitive edge.

By having this insurance, businesses will be adding value to their product line, which will help them to capitalise on future opportunities.

The UK’s pending departure from the EU must drive the need to innovate, with the creation of new products that command premium prices to help offset any currency fluctuations or additional trading costs.

With an opportunistic and ambitious outlook, the UK can succeed. It should take inspiration from the likes of Switzerland, which sits outside the EU and is ranked as the most innovative country in the world.

IGI will be launching its Intellectual Property Insurance at the 2019 BIBA conference on 15th May at stand B60.

Alternatively, if you are not attending the conference and would like to talk to IGI, CLICK HERE, leave a message and youTalk-insurance will pass your enquiry on.


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