Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Leeds Inventors Group 20-02-08 - Mark Philmore

Leeds Inventors Group 20-02-08 “Insuring Your Invention” Mark Philmore of MFL Ltd

Mark is a Chartered Insurance Broker and through the services of MFL Science & Technology Insurance Brokers attempts to, as he put it, “level the playing field”.

Mark pointed out that the presence of Intellectual Property (IP) – patents, trade marks, designs and copyright – significantly increases the value of a business. However, exploiting an idea will always involve risk. If a patent is infringed and it goes to court, costs can be substantial – from
tens of thousands to, in some cases, a million. Having IP insurance can help put off infringers – it lets them know that you intend to assert your rights. And if the case does go to court it means that the individual or small company has a better chance of fighting off a larger company with substantial resources.

Mark went through the various options for cover from self-insuring to the most expensive “After the event” cover. He also explained that any claim would be carefully assessed by the insurer. There will always be a clause which states that costs will be covered if there is a chance of winning the case. If it looks like there’s no chance they won’t do it. It’s normal in these situations to get opinions from IP lawyers.

IP insurance plays a significant part in the process of protecting a new product or service but it is one that is frequently overlooked.