Management of intellectual property involves understanding your rights and protecting those rights.

What Are Intellectual Property Rights?

Intellectual property rights (IPR) are a broad set of rights that are given to people who create works derived from their creative and intellectual processes. Intellectual property can exist in a number of situations, including:  

  • Industrial settings  
  • Science  
  • Literary works  
  • Artistic works.

Intellectual property can also take many forms, such as:  

  • Inventions  
  • Manuscripts  
  • Software  
  • Algorithms  
  • Business names.

Nowadays, intellectual property is becoming more important when it comes to creating a competitive business advantage for many companies. Intellectual property can increase a company's value in terms of potentially:

  • Selling the business
  • Obtaining investments and business loans.

Survey Says

Recent surveys the Intellectual Property Office in the United Kingdom conducted suggest that owning intellectual property can significantly increase a company's value. In fact, in many cases, intellectual property accounted for up to 80 percent of the company's value in those that participated in the survey. 

Based on this information, it is clear that intellectual property can have a significant impact on a company's potential growth and success.

Protecting Intellectual Property

Appreciating the actual value associated with an intellectual property can sometimes be difficult because of the fact that properties of this nature can't be touched or seen. Examples of intellectual properties you may want to protect can include:  

  • Company brands.  
  • A service that uses a registered trademark.  
  • The look and feel of a product that uses a registered design.  
  • How certain technologies, such as software, work using a patent.  
  • Literary or artistic works using a copyright.

Making sure your intellectual properties are adequately protected is extremely important for your company's success. Like any other type of business asset, intellectual property can potentially get stolen or used without your permission. 

In cases like this, it's your responsibility as the property's owner to enforce your rights. If you haven't adequately protected your intellectual property, this can be a difficult and expensive process. On the other hand, if a company is accused of illegal use of intellectual property, it will be responsible for its own legal defense.

Intellectual Property Insurance

Intellectual property insurance is a special type of insurance. It can only be offered by underwriters who understand the specific policies available regarding the risks that can come with creating, managing, and using intellectual property.

Types of Intellectual Property Insurance

Intellectual property insurance can only be obtained from insurance professionals that understand the specifics of this particular type of property. Coverage for an insurance policy of this nature can cover a wide range of rights. Some examples include:  

  • Patents 
  • Designs  
  • Trademarks  
  • Copyrights 
  • Trade secrets  
  • Domain names  
  • Commercial agreements.

The main philosophy behind intellectual property insurance is to provide financial support for the insured party in regards to protection and enforcement of that party's intellectual property rights. The different types of available intellectual property insurance can offer a range of coverage options, depending on your specific needs.

General Intellectual Property Insurance

General intellectual property insurance offers owners a protection from losses in the event that a third party infringes on the owner's right to his or her intellectual property. This type of policy also offers limited liability insurance that can protect the policyholder against infringement claims a third party may pursue against him or her.

Intellection Property Litigation Insurance

Intellection property litigation insurance is a highly specialized policy type that protects intellectual property owners should a third party infringes on their ownership rights to the intellectual property in question. This type of insurance is also known as "offensive insurance." 

A policy of this nature helps to provide funding related to the expenses of enforcing your rights, as well as certain other activities that may help the intellectual property owner pursue the offending party.

Intellectual Property Liability Insurance

Intellectual property liability insurance is a specific policy type that is geared toward people who produce physical products from intellectual properties, such as:  

  • Product producers  
  • Licensees  
  • Vendors. 

A policy of this nature protects the insured party in the event that he or she is accused of infringing on somebody else's intellectual property rights. This type of policy is also commonly referred to as "defensive insurance" and provides funding for the insured party's defense.

If you need help with the management of intellectual property, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.