Hausmann Group September 15, 2016 3 min read

Defending Your IP - The Spark Plugs of Your Business’ Engine

As a Commercial Account Manager, I focus on serving the needs of our life science clients. Each day, I have the privilege of speaking with someone who is hard at work creating new medications, developing new vaccines, or devising clever ways to diagnose and treat some of the most harmful illnesses we know of. In fact, many do not know that Wisconsin is a national leader in the bioscience industry. According to the industry association leader (and Hausmann-Johnson Insurance client) BioForward, the Wisconsin bioscience industry employs over 100,000 individuals at more than 1,600 companies and produces $27,000,000,000 in economic output each year.

insurance for life sciences companies

Part and parcel of this business, and many others, is the creation and securing of intellectual property (IP). This term is far-reaching, but it typically signifies your ownership of patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights. To put it simply, if you make or sell goods or services, chances are high that you have some sort of IP.

Your IP gives your business distinct advantages in the marketplace, but it also leaves you open to infringement claims. These come in two forms: a claim made by you that someone is infringing upon your IP, or a claim made against you that you are infringing upon someone else’s IP. In either case, these claims can be costly and can take years to resolve. With regards to patent litigation, the total cost averages around $2,800,000 in defense costs (for each side involved!) and takes, on average, over two years to resolve.

Standard general liability policies normally exclude these types of claims. For the most comprehensive coverage, it’s best to work with a carrier whose sole focus in insuring IP. That carrier will discuss your IP in great detail with you, and can then offer tailored coverage for the following risks:

  • IP Enforcement-covers the cost to fund litigation against a company that is infringing upon your IP. Coverage is also available for income you lost as a result of that infringement.
  • IP Infringement Defense-covers the cost to defend you and pay damages for a claim that you’ve infringed upon another’s IP.
  • Unauthorized Disclosure-coverage in the event that you unintentionally disclose a third party’s confidential info (i.e. you mistakenly release the secret recipe for Coca-Cola).

Additional coverages are available as well. Talk with your Property & Casualty Consultant at Hausmann-Johnson to learn more. We’re here to help.