Briefing guide for an Intellectual Property “IP” Asset Review
Intellectual Property Explained – Clive Bonny
Small and medium-sized enterprises can obtain an IP Asset Review and training in IP asset management. The purpose of this guide is to summarise the steps and benefits of this review to eligible applicants.
An IP review will identify, protect and capitalise your IP asset value. All small and medium-sized enterprises create IP through new products and services, client databases, designs, logos, slogans, trademarks, contracts, confidential data and public website content. IP assets can represent up to 50% of the total asset value of a business. IP assets can be bought and sold, licensed, franchised and used as collateral to fund growth. Protecting your IP enhances brand value and reputation.
Every day unprotected IP is copied by competitors and stolen by staff and contractors. Companies also unwittingly buy or use IP which is supplied illegally by others who have not checked ownership. Ignorance is no defence and all profits from IP infringements can be claimed retrospectively by IP owners. Data protection regulators can also issue penalty fines up to 2% of company global revenues for failure to protect data. In 2015 many organisations have been fined over £250,000 and individual Directors of small enterprises have been fined over £100,000. Design infringements can now be sued in both civil and criminal courts.
Every IP review is tailored to the needs of the client. Scope can include: data protection, designs, logos, trademarks, copyright, patents, contracts with staff and supply chains, staff visas and qualifications, information governance policies and procedures, research and development for products and services. Every business creates its own IP in different ways and the review scope will prioritise areas of greatest value.
The IP review helps you protect and obtain the best value from your IP assets. It also reduces the risks of infringements and expensive legal action against you for unwitting infringements such as downloading photos or designs online. Many small firms have also identified R and D tax credits resulting in HMRC paying cheques for over £25,000 based on prior R and D costs not previously audited.