Intellectual property (IP) is intangible. It can be ideas, names, designs, symbols, artwork, writings and other creations and is often a key asset to a business being as, or more valuable than physical property.

IP can be protected by patents, copyright and trademarks and their distribution controlled by licencing, however enforcement can be costly as solicitors and possibly court action maybe involved. Not all companies will have such deep pockets as FIFA, so specialist insurance is available to protect your business.

The insurance cover can vary enormously and the most important difference is whether the policy just covers the cost of defending an unintentional infringement of another company’s IP rights, or does it also include pursuit and enforcement against a company infringing your rights.

Cover for defence costs can form part of Professional Indemnity, Cyber Liability or Legal Expenses policies, however they do not generally provide pursuit cover, for which, a specialist IP Policy will normally be required. There will be options for levels of cover from ‘opinion only’, those that include legal costs and the widest will include cover if an IP damages award is made against you.

The other key area is whether there are territorial or jurisdiction restrictions as there is often the need to take action outside of the UK.

It can be complicated, but if you have a brand or commercial rights that are valuable to you (or your competitors) it may be well worth your time seeking guidance on the insurance protection available.