Intellectual Property

What is Intellectual Property?

Webopedia defines intellectual property to any property that is created using original thought.  Traditional intellectual property rights include patents, copyrights and trademarks.  Unlike tangible property, rights are not extinguished when the property is destroyed.  The World Intellectual Property Organization defines intellectual property as creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.

Protecting your idea; who needs Intellectual Property Insurance?

Similar to professional liability Intellectual property insurance is not covered under a commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy, although a CGL insurance policy may provide coverage for certain claims arising from intellectual property-related to “advertising activities.”  A CGL insurance policy will generally exclude coverage for infringement of copyright, title, slogan, trademark, trade name, trade dress, service mark or service name, plagiarism or misappropriation of ideas and misuse of an intellectual property right in content. Although technology has made it easier for creative material to be copied, plagiarized or misappropriate, it has also increased the risk of businesses being sued for property rights, infringement and plagiarism claims.  Intellectual property litigation issues are becoming more and more common in the high-tech business world.  Considering that the average cost to defend a copyright or trademark infringement suit is more than $250,000, it is no surprise that the increase in companies purchasing a Media Liability insurance policy to provide for these exposures.  Businesses that own patents may also want to consider purchasing Patent Insurance, which is a form of intellectual property insurance.  There are two forms of patent insurance; Patent Abatement insurance which will cover your legal costs if you find it necessary to sue a third party for infringing upon your patent and Patent infringement insurance, which is a liability policy which provides defense if your company is accused of infringing upon someone else’s patent.

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