Munich Re and Oxygen have joined forces to launch an intellectual property product.
Created and underwritten by Munich Re within its corporate insurance partner division, the IP product is aimed at UK-domiciled companies with turnovers of up to £3m.
The product is distributed exclusively by Oxygen Partners, a division of Oxygen Insurance Brokers. It includes cover for legal costs and/or damages relating to the infringement liability for IP including patents, trademarks, copyright and design rights, the licensing and contractual obligations and coverage for invalidity actions as part of a defence. There is also an optional extension for directors’ and officers’ cover.
A survey of 170 venture capitalists, investors and entrepreneurs conducted by Munich Re, found IP is seen as vital to the success of small business and investment growth.
While IP was recognised as adding measurable value to business investments in the range of 26% and 100% over five years, many investors were concerned that investees may be infringing someone else’s IP, bringing with it the threat of litigation that at best is costly and at worst may destroy the business.
Andrew Wallin, Oxygen Partners managing director, said: “The attitude of the majority of respondents in the survey was to fight an IP claim. However, with the typical costs of such a claim running in to hundreds of thousands of pounds, it is worrying that many of the respondents had no or a limited budget available to defend themselves.”
Erik Alsegard, senior IP underwriter at Munich Re, said: “The survey reveals that protecting IP assets and exposures is seen as a vital part of the SME investment and business growth process. The launch of this IP insurance product is an important step in addressing the gap between the clear value of IP and the fragmented response to mitigating the risks associated with it.”
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