Belgian small to medium-sized companies are increasingly allocating more of their budgets to protection of their intellectual property. But effectively enforcing these rights is often not an easy task. That is why Vanbreda Risk & Benefits and Gevers, the leading European office when it comes to intellectual property, is now introducing a specific insurance product on the market that enables companies with international ambition to protect their intellectual property as far as possible.
Protecting intellectual property is a necessity for companies looking to expand internationally. Belgian firms are beginning to understand this need. The Flemish Indicator book shows that with a six-fold increase over the last 30 years, the number of patent applications is surging.
As more companies move onto the international market, the more often they are faced with unpleasant surprises. A patent application will easily require an investment of around €50,000, but to enforce and defend your IP rights effectively in such countries as China and the US, these costs will run sky high. “A legal procedure involving intellectual property in the US will quickly cost you hundreds of thousands of euros. This is unfeasible for most small to medium-sized firms. It also means that intellectual property rights are often protected on paper, but not in practice”, says Steven De Keyser, CEO of Gevers.
“Doing business internationally unfortunately also entails third parties claiming that you have violated their intellectual property rights”, says Jan Van Hecke, Deputy Director at Vanbreda Risk & Benefits. “The costs of both defending yourself and for a damage compensation payment when sentenced, can run astronomically high.”
With this new insurance, Vanbreda Risk & Benefits and Gevers now offer worldwide protection of intellectual property. Thanks to this insurance, the basic cover – financial protection against violations of intellectual property by third parties – is expanded to include cover for the costs incurred to defend your own intellectual property rights. In this latter aspect, the product covers the costs of both the damage and the defence for IP claims made by third parties in legal proceedings and the legal fees involved in enforcing your intellectual property rights.
The new insurance is not just geared towards SMEs, but is also intended for large companies who are much more aware of the risks associated with intellectual property rights but often have limited knowledge when it comes to an insurance solution.
“Until recently, our focus was aimed at protecting the intellectual property rights of large companies”, adds Jan Van Hecke. “Gevers has convinced us to also offer a solution for small to medium-sized Belgian firms: in addition to offering protection against IP claims made by third parties, we also include a guarantee for the costs of enforcing your own intellectual property rights. Gevers’ contribution in analysing the risks when concluding policies will be a key factor in determining the final premium, the acceptation of the risks and in determining the surety and excess.”
Click here for more information about Intellect Protect.