Cornish lawyer covers IP market

A LAWYER with a small specialist legal advisory firm in Cornwall spotted a gap in the market for intellectual property insurance and is now providing the cover for businesses operating in the US and elsewhere.

Ernest Kay, a non-practising barrister, runs Law Business & Technology Services, a firm specialising in international IP advice and based in St Mawes.

Kay, who previously worked as an in-house lawyer with Shell, discovered that business clients were not able to insure themselves for sufficient sums for the US market.

“This was to cover the costs of protecting patents, trade marks and copyright both for defence and enforcement purposes,” says Kay.

Insurers in the UK often limit themselves to u100,000 of US cover, but the litigation costs of a typical infringement action in the US is $400,000, he says.

“Usually half a million dollars indemnity is available for the infringement cover,” says Kay.

In order to find higher indemnity limits for clients, he made enquiries with US insurers and was able to arrange facilities with a number of them.

Then he set up a joint venture with an insurance broker and formed Intellectual Property Insurance Bureau, based in Poole, also offering product liability coverage.