Much is at stake for the parties to an intellectual property (IP) dispute. For the alleged infringer, there is the risk of an injunction along with an award of damages in respect of sales already made. For the IP owner, should he lose, he is stuck with competition in the marketplace, loss of market share and the price/profit erosion that often ensues. Worse still, if his IP is invalidated or shown to be easy to circumvent, the value of his company can be greatly reduced.
For all these reasons it is critical for a business with IP insurance cover, which aims to help with the costs of the enforcement and defence of IP infringement claims, to know if a claim arises they will be able to get the best possible support and professional advice.
In terms of support, OPUS’ philosophy is to work with the insured to proactively help them find a solution which is fair and reasonable, based on best possible advice.
As for professional advice, any claim accepted will be referred to one of the legal experts at our panel law firms. Each expert has at least twenty years’ experience of handling IP infringement claims and is a highly regarded expert in the field of IP. The legal professional will assess the merits of the claim and devise a strategy to best handle it for approval both by OPUS, underwriters and the insured.
As long at the insured’s case has a reasonable prospect of success and the proposed strategy represents a proportionate and cost-effective way of dealing with the dispute, OPUS will recommend to the underwriters the clam be funded, subject always to the terms of the insured’s policy.
The Insured notifies their broker of a claim or circumstance likely to give rise to a claim.
The broker promptly informs OPUS.
OPUS sends the insured the appropriate claim form and provides underwriters with details of available facts.
The insured complete the claim form and provides any further information relating to the claim as requested by OPUS. Sometimes the information provided by the insured will include a legal opinion from the insured’s legal advisors.
OPUS will pass all documents and any legal opinion available to underwriters for a final assessment as to whether it is covered by the insured’s policy.
If the claim is covered, underwriters will authorise the insured to appoint panel solicitors to handle the claim.
OPUS will work with underwriters, panel solicitors and the insured to agree the optimum strategy for the case.
Where the strategy has been approved by underwriters in advance, they will then fund it in a form to be agreed on a case by case basis.
Finally, OPUS will monitor the progress of the claim and liaise with the insured, the appointed solicitors and underwriters with a view to ensuring a satisfactory resolution of the dispute.