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BrandProtect

BrandProtect is an innovative service uniquely offering cost-effective legal insurance against those that use your brand or infringe your trade mark without permission. A low-cost premium gives you £100,000 worth of a fighting fund to protect your brand.

The insurance covers a proportion of your and your opponents (if ordered against you) legal costs of:

  • Bringing an action in the UK against anyone who has wrongfully infringed any registered trade mark that you have insured with us; and
  • Defending an action or counterclaim in the UK which seeks to revoke your rights.

DesignProtect

DesignProtect is a unique service offering cost-effective legal insurance for all your designs, which you can log with us. Whether you design textiles, fabrics, prints, garments, footwear, accessories or 3D objects, you will find this service vital to your business.

This IP insurance covers a proportion of your and your opponents (if ordered against you) legal costs of:

  • Bringing an action in the UK against anyone who has wrongfully copied any of your designs or any registered design that has been granted; and
  • Defending an action or counterclaim in the UK which seeks to revoke your rights.

BrandProtect FAQs

How do I sign up for BrandProtect?

Contact our team via phone, email or website contact form to notify us of your interest. We’ll then provide you with a short proposal form, which you’ll complete to indicate which trade mark(s) you want to insure.

We’ll then request the insurance from the insurer. When the insurer agrees the cover we will send you a copy of the policy and schedule confirming the insurance.

How much does it cost?

The cost depends on the number of trade marks you wish to insure. The standard cost is £212.80 plus VAT per trade mark.

How much cover do I receive?

In return for your premium and subject to the terms and conditions of the policy, the insurers would make available to you a potential fighting fund of up to £100,000.

Is anything excluded?

The policy covers legal costs for good cases in the UK that an insured member of BrandProtect finds out about after the insurance is in place and within the insured year. It, obviously, would not cover infringements that a trade mark owner is or should be aware of prior to taking out the insurance nor infringements which may have begun before the expiry of the insurance but which a trade mark owner only finds out about after the insurance has expired. It does not cover costs incurred obtaining and maintaining your rights, or in criminal actions nor fines, damages etc.

In addition to the above, there are the usual exclusions. Many are unlikely to arise however, exclusions to note are:

  • Where a trade mark owner has acted recklessly in allowing the infringement to happen; or
  • Where a trade mark owner (were he paying himself) would not take or continue the action, for example where it is not worthwhile, including where a reasonable settlement offer has been made; or
  • In relation to disputes between two persons who jointly own the trade mark and fall out; and
  • In relation to a trade mark owner’s (employee’s etc) own time and expenses in fighting the action.

How long does the cover last?

This is an annual premium that customers will have to renew yearly to keep their IP insured.

Are there any other costs?

As long as there is no claim under the policy there would be no other costs. If there is a claim, then in common with many insurance products, the insurers expect some sort of contribution from the insured to ensure that they act reasonably. If you use Briffa there is no excess you have to pay first before benefiting from the insurance. However, there is a co-insurance proportion which means that the insurers would cover up to 90% of legal bills (excluding VAT if you can recover this) up to the limit of the fighting fund with the insured covering the remainder: the exact proportion depends on a number of factors including how many previous claims have been brought in the year. You should also bear in mind that the fighting fund is limited and we cannot guarantee that it will be sufficient to cover your costs and your opponents will also be incurring costs. Normally the successful party in a legal action recovers most of its costs from the unsuccessful party. In the event that an insured is successful and recovers costs those costs are used to re-imburse the insurer. In the event that an insured is successful and recovers a sum which does not differentiate between costs and damages or just specifies damages a fair and reasonable proportion of that sum will be deemed costs and paid to re-imburse the insurer.

Is there any way I can reduce the risk of others using my trademark?

It helps deter infringement if you are clear that your brand is protected by a registered trade mark, so, if possible, use the notation ® next to your trade mark.

Also BrandProtect members are free to use the BrandProtect logo which is a powerful notice that you have the financial backing to bring an action against infringers. It does not however, transfer any intellectual property rights in the logo or name BrandProtect to you: these remain with Briffa who has the right to demand that you stop using them.

What would happen if I thought my trade mark was being infringed?

As soon as you become aware of a possible claim you must contact Briffa immediately. We will provide and assist you with a claim form to complete and return and the information and documentation needed. Once basic details of the dispute have been provided Briffa would give an opinion as to whether the case appeared to be a good and worthwhile one and send this with the claim form to the insurer.

In appropriate circumstances, Briffa could send your opponent a letter or undertake emergency action on your behalf (incurring costs up to £1,500) without insurer’s approval and the delay that can cause. Thereafter and with the insurer’s consent, Briffa would progress the matter for you in the best way, if necessary, by taking/continuing formal legal action.

Do I have to use Briffa?

No, while we hope you would use Briffa, under the terms of the policy you would be free to choose other lawyers to represent you. However, in the event that you choose to instruct other lawyers, there would be additional costs namely a £500 excess and an additional 10% co-insurance contribution. The insurer will cover the remainder of the legal bills up to the value of the fighting fund.

What role do the insurers have?

The insurers are entitled:

  • To be kept updated and advised of all material facts and matters and provided with all relevant documents relating to the claim;
  • To decide whether it is reasonable to commence and/or continue to fund an action however, they have to take account of our opinions, may require Counsel’s opinion and the insured has a right to refer the decision to an arbitrator;
  • To approve, in advance, expenditure up to a certain sum or time and for certain steps involving significant expenditure;
  • To be informed immediately of any offers of settlement from an opponent and to approve, in advance, the acceptance of such an offer or the making of any and all settlement offers to an opponent.

Do I have to go all the way?

No, most disputes settle well before trial. Many settle in the very early stages.

As with all disputes Briffa will throughout look for ways in which to settle the matter for you on favourable terms without the need to go to trial. Sometimes the solution which emerges can be quite novel. No two matters are the same. At the end of the day it should be remembered that even good cases carry risk and the time and energy spent on pursuing a case which could otherwise be expended moving your business forward should not be underestimated.

Can I see the BrandProtect policy?

Yes, of course. A copy of the policy with all the terms is available on request.

DesignProtect FAQs

How do I sign up for DesignProtect?

Contact our team via phone, email or website contact form to notify us of your interest. We’ll then provide you with a short proposal form, which you’ll complete to indicate your annual turnover (see pricing structure below).

We’ll then request the insurance from the insurer. When the insurer agrees the cover we will send you a copy of the policy and schedule confirming the insurance.

How much does it cost and how much cover do I receive?

The cost depends on your annual turnover (see list below). In return and subject to the terms and conditions of the policy, the insurers would make available to you a potential fighting fund up to the corresponding figure (see below).

  • Turnover up to £50,000: Premium cost of £212.80, fighting fund of £25,000
  • Turnover between £50,001 – £100,000: Premium cost of £309.40, fighting fund of £50,000
  • Turnover between £100,001 – £250,000: Premium cost of £406.00, fighting fund of £50,000
  • Turnover between £250,001 – £500,000: Premium cost of £534.80, fighting fund of £100,000
  • Turnover between £500,001 – £750,000: Premium cost of £695.80, fighting fund of £100,000
  • Turnover between £750,001 – £1,000,000: Premium cost of £856.80, fighting fund of £100,000

Turnover in excess of £1,000,000 is referred directly to the insurer for a premium quote.

Is anything excluded?

The policy covers legal costs for good cases in the UK that an insured member of DesignProtect finds out about after the insurance is in place and within the insured year. It, obviously, would not cover copying which a designer is or should be aware of prior to taking out the insurance nor copying which may have begun before the expiry of the insurance but which a designer only finds out about after the insurance has expired. It does not cover costs incurred obtaining and maintaining your rights, or in criminal actions nor fines, damages etc.

In addition to the above, there are the usual exclusions. Many are unlikely to arise however, exclusions to note are:

  • Where a designer has acted recklessly in allowing the copying to happen; or
  • Where a designer (were he paying himself) would not take or continue the action, for example where it is not worthwhile, including where a reasonable settlement offer has been made; or
  • In relation to disputes between two persons who jointly own the design and fall out; and
  • In relation to a designer’s (employee’s etc) own time and expenses in fighting the action.

How long does the cover last?

This is an annual premium that customers will have to renew yearly to remain insured.

Are there any other costs?

As long as there is no claim under the policy there would be no other costs. If there is a claim, then in common with many insurance products, the insurers expect some sort of contribution from the insured to ensure that they act reasonably. If you use Briffa there is no excess you have to pay first before benefiting from the insurance. However, there is a co-insurance proportion which means that the insurers would cover up to 90% of legal bills (excluding VAT if you can recover this) up to the limit of the fighting fund with the insured covering the remainder: the exact proportion depends on a number of factors including how many previous claims have been brought in the year. You should also bear in mind that the fighting fund is limited and we cannot guarantee that it will be sufficient to cover your costs and your opponents will also be incurring costs. Normally the successful party in a legal action recovers most of its costs from the unsuccessful party. In the event that an insured is successful and recovers costs those costs are used to re-imburse the insurer. In the event that an insured is successful and recovers a sum which does not differentiate between costs and damages or just specifies damages a fair and reasonable proportion of that sum will be deemed costs and paid to re-imburse the insurer.

Is there anything I can do to avoid being copied?

Yes, making sure people know that your work is protected by copyright and that you are a member of DesignProtect helps. Where possible use the notation © [YOUR NAME][YEAR OF CREATION] for copyright works and unregistered designs or for registered designs put the registered design number.

Also Design Protect members are free to use the DesignProtect logo when exhibiting their work.

When the insurance is confirmed you will receive notes on copyright as well as stickers for use on drawings and an exhibition stand notice. The logo can also be supplied in jpeg format for your website. The logo is a powerful notice that you have the financial backing to bring action against infringers. It does not however, transfer any intellectual property rights in the logo or name, DesignProtect, to you: these remain with Briffa who has the right to demand that you stop using them.

Whilst it is not a compulsory requirement to taking out the insurance, DesignProtect also entitles you to make use of a no extra cost recording and archiving system by which you can electronically log your designs with us. By sending us your designs, as they are created, DesignProtect can assist you in providing evidence of when your designs were created. The scheme covers all materials that you send us as Jpeg attachments to the email address designprotect@briffa.com with the insured name as the subject of the email. The archiving scheme is free but only runs in conjunction with DesignProtect Insurance. If someone then copies your designs in future we would provide independent third party evidence of your design and the insurer could provide the funds to use that evidence to enforce your rights.

What would happen if I were then to be copied?

As soon as you become aware of a possible claim you must contact Briffa immediately. We will provide and assist you with a claim form to complete and return and the information and documentation needed. Once basic details of the dispute have been provided (including samples or good quality photographs of the original and infringing items) Briffa would give an opinion as to whether the case appeared to be a good and worthwhile one and send this with the claim form to the insurer.

In appropriate circumstances, Briffa could send your opponent a letter or undertake emergency action on your behalf (incurring costs up to £1,500) without the insurer’s approval and the delay that can cause. Thereafter and with the insurer’s consent, Briffa would progress the matter for you in the best way, if necessary, by taking/continuing formal legal action.

Do I have to use Briffa?

No, while we hope you would use Briffa, under the terms of the policy you would be free to choose other lawyers to represent you. However, in the event that you choose to instruct other lawyers, there would be additional costs namely a £500 excess and an additional 10% co-insurance contribution. The insurer will cover the remainder of the legal bills up to the value of the fighting fund.

What role do the insurers have?

The insurers are entitled:

  • To be kept updated and advised of all material facts and matters and provided with all relevant documents relating to the claim;
  • To decide whether it is reasonable to commence and/or continue to fund an action however, they have to take account of our opinions, may require Counsel’s opinion and the insured has a right to refer the decision to an arbitrator;
  • To approve, in advance, expenditure up to a certain sum or time and for certain steps involving significant expenditure;
  • To be informed immediately of any offers of settlement from an opponent and to approve, in advance, the acceptance of such an offer or the making of any and all settlement offers to an opponent.

Do I have to go all the way?

No, most disputes settle well before trial. Many settle in the very early stages.

As with all disputes Briffa will throughout look for ways in which to settle the matter for you on favourable terms without the need to go to trial. Sometimes the solution which emerges can be quite novel. No two matters are the same. At the end of the day it should be remembered that even good cases carry risk and the time and energy spent on pursuing a case which could otherwise be expended moving your business forward should not be underestimated.

Can I see the DesignProtect policy?

Yes, of course. A copy of the policy with all the terms is available on request.

Why work with Briffa?

We are recognised as a “leading firm” by the Legal500 for our specialism in IP Law.

We offer a free consultation to discuss your case before any fixed fee quotes are given.

With offices in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, plus a global network of associates, we can support you all over the world.

We offer an industry-leading service with short turnaround times and business-focused advice.

Book a free consultation with one of our specialist solicitors.

We’ll start with a no obligation chat where we’ll get to know you and understand your current challenges.

Book your free consultation now

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