23 October 2010

IP Insurance Five Years On

Exasperated by the absence of British companies among the top 10 companies that had been granted UK patents between 2004 and 2005 I wrote in September 2005 the article “Why are there no British Names in the Patent Office's Top Ten?” The reason then as now was that the cost of obtaining and enforcing a patent in the UK was beyond the means of most small and medium enterprises. In the article I discussed the ways in which intellectual property infringement litigation could be funded and came to the conclusion that before the event insurance was probably the best option. The very next day I wrote the article “IP Insurance: Does it Work?” and mentioned one instance where it seemed to do so. The next day in this blog I wrote an article especially on “IP Insurance”.

Since 2005 the following developments have taken place:

· S.74A and s.74B of the Patents Act 1977 (providing for advisory opinions by the Intellectual Property Office on patent infringement and validity) have come into force;

· Sir Rupert Jackson has reviewed and reported on Civil Litigation Costs; and

· the Civil Procedure Rules and Practice Directions have been amended to limit costs in Patents County Court actions at £50,000 on liability and £25,000 on quantum which theoretically makes litigation in the Patents County Court only marginally more expensive than in Germany.

The cheapest intellectual property insurance service that I could find in 2005, Intellectual Property Insurance Consultants, is no longer with us but its prime mover Ian Macleod seems to be working now for Alfa Insurance Facilities. Ian Lewis who made Miller into what appeared to be the market leader in this sector in 2005 has founded Samian Underwriting Agency. David Freer, who used to be with HSBC Insurance Consultants, is now a director of Marsh. However, I have also found several new entrants to the market.

Below are the intellectual property insurance services that I have been able to identify. If anyone knows of any broker, underwriter or other intellectual property insurance service provider that I should add to this list, please let me know.

Service Provider


Abbey Legal Protection

0870 600 1480

Alfa Insurance Facilities

Ian Macleod 01903 23 22 86

Camberford Law

020 8315 5066

Charles Milnes & Co.

020 7923 4655

Marsh Brokers Ltd.

David Freer 07770 740237

McParland Finn Ltd.

Mark Philimore 0113 366 2369

Miller Insurance

020 7031 2819

Professional Insurance Agents Ltd.

01323 648000

Samian Underwriting Agency

Ian Lewis 020 7954 4430

Temple Legal Protection

01483 577877


Richard said...

Yes it's all very well but which of these people offering insurance have a clear instance of when the insurance has actually done any good? The instance noted in the 2005 blog does not inspire me with confidence that the insurance, as opposed to the lure of access to exclusionary rights, was of any significance. Let's see the good stories from this fledgling industry please!

Jane Lambert said...

I can do no better than quote Mandy Haberman:
"By protecting my non-spill cup idea with patents and insurance, I was able to enforce my rights and secure my position as market leader, reaping the reward for all the years hard work! Insurance is costly, but for me it was essential."
See http://www.mandyhaberman.com/comment

Anonymous said...

Do you know of any companies (UK or US) which offer cover for US risks? I found IPISC in Kentucky, but no others.

Helen Jones said...

Another couple of Brokers are Windsor Partners LLP, Adam Piper Adam.Piper@Windsor.co.uk www.windsor.co.uk
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Limited (JLT), Peter Hacker peter_hacker@jltgroup.com

Jane Lambert said...

Thanks Helen. I'll check them out.