March 30, 2018 Articles

Don’t Let Insurance Companies’ Intellectual Property Exclusions Stop Notice to an Insurer of an Intellectual Property Lawsuit

Ultimately, policyholders should canvas insurance markets with the assistance of a knowledgeable insurance broker for policies that offer the best coverage available against IP claims

by David A. Gauntlett

While some insurers have aggressively focused on intellectual property exposure for a number of years (such as St. Paul, subsequently Travelers, which launched an intellectual property exclusion in 1990), the Insurance Services Office (ISO) did not adopt any form of intellectual property exclusion until 2001.                                                                                             

As the form of insurance coverage typically offered by insurers under CGL policies is “occurrence” based—i.e., dependent on when the alleged wrongful act occurred, rather than when a claim (including lawsuits) were pursued against an insured— the insurance industry’s delay in crafting an intellectual property exclusion meant that policies in effect prior to the adoption of that exclusion had to respond to a range of intellectual property lawsuits.

In some forums, such as Canada, earlier policy forms without intellectual property exclusions continue to be available to policyholders.

Premium Content For:
  • Litigation Section
Join - Now