Tech companies are often founded on a new piece of technology or software, so your success will depend on either protecting your own software or defending yourselves against breaching someone else’s Intellectual Property (IP).
UK law states that computer software is regarded as a work of literature and protected by copyright automatically arising on its creation. However when creating or adapting software, even if you replicate the look, feel or functionality of a software product you are not committing a copyright infringement, (unless the software code itself is copied) but you may still find that you have allegations of IP infringement which will incur costs when defending such a claim.
Intellectual Property picks up a number of areas:
- Copyright – protects the expression of original works of authorship
- Trademark – protects any word, sign or logo capable of distinguishing goods or services
- Publicity Rights – protect the control of an individual’s name, image or likeness used for commercial use
- Patent Infringement – protects the invention of a solution to a specific problem, product or process
Depending on the quality of your insurance product, your Professional Indemnity policy may well pick up claims against you for an infringement of IP, but not all policies do so it is very important you check this out. However the policy won’t provide cover if someone infringes on your own IP, therefore you would need to arrange a specific IP Protection policy, which is designed to pay legal costs for specifically named IP/ Trademarks.
Whilst these policies may appear complicated and time consuming to set up, if your whole business is based on your IP it is definitely something that should be considered and discussed with your insurance broker.