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Guarding your creative legacy; the importance of intellectual property for Manufacturers

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By Tim Weymouth, Associate Director, ACII, AIoL

You might recall my previous article discussing the relevance of a Professional Indemnity policy for manufacturers looking to sell designs to third parties for a fee. There's another important aspect worth exploring.

During my recent holiday at Disney World in Florida, I noticed Disney's meticulous efforts to enhance visitors' experience, including practical amenities like mist fans, especially vital in 35°C heat with heavy humidity. Disney also excels in keeping children entertained while waiting in queues or exploring the park, employing creative strategies such as treasure hunts for hidden Mickeys, as showcased on Disney Insider Tips.

But how does this relate to insurance? Consider this example: VJV Earthenware, a family-owned business, designs and manufactures various home items, including plant pots and oven-proof dishes, with specific trademarks and patents, notably for their violet paint. Normally, they wouldn't consider Professional Indemnity exposure due to their small-scale operations and limited distribution. However, they decide to release a limited-edition plant pot, gaining unexpected popularity and even catching the eye of major influencers on social media. This newfound fame, unfortunately, attracts unwanted attention: Walt Disney World initiates legal action over the pot's resemblance to their iconic character, and a company in the South of France starts producing similar pots in a similar design and violet colouring, infringing on VJV's design patents.

In this scenario, what advice should their insurance broker offer? Intellectual Property Insurance should have been discussed, providing essential coverage for defending against third-party claims, such as Disney's, and allowing VJV to pursue legal action against the imitating company. This policy can also cover contractual indemnities, loss of Intellectual Property rights, and loss of profit, which can allow VJV to pursue the company in the south of France.

This situation prompts a crucial question: how long have you been manufacturing products protected by patents, copyrights, or trademarks, and has your broker ever discussed this vital aspect with you? If not, perhaps it's time for a conversation with someone who will.

Are you ready to protect your creative ventures? Explore the power of intellectual property insurance by contacting Howden today. 
 

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Tim

Tim Weymouth

Associate Director, ACII, AloL