Do you need an IP audit?

Intellectual Property (IP) exists in many guises and is protected in different ways. Some of these rights, such as confidential information, copyright and unregistered design rights will come into existence automatically and there is no real need to do anything. Other rights, such as registered designs, trade marks and patents, will need to be registered at the relevant registries worldwide.

Failure to secure adequate protection for your IP can be disastrous; as it may mean that you are unable to prevent competitors exploiting your IP or make it more difficult and expensive to enforce your intellectual property rights. Also, as many people will know from 'Dragons' Den', investors want to see that businesses are taking their IP rights seriously and ensuring appropriate protection.

What is an IP Audit and why should I get one?

An IP Audit is a detailed review of your businesses assets and related risks and opportunities. An audit can help your businesses to reach its potential by giving you guidance and advice to support growth.

Research commissioned by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in 2015-2016 showed that most businesses act on the recommendations produced as a consequence of an IP Audit. In the same research, 22% of businesses reported that the recommendations identified new business opportunities such as licensing or franchising.

Is there funding is available?

The IPO offers funding support for IP Audits through its IP Audits Plus Scheme which is run with the support of its IP Audit Partners; Enterprise Europe Network, Scottish Enterprise or the Welsh Government.

What does the funding cover and how does it work?

Through the scheme, the IPO will fund £2,600 (inc. VAT) of the total cost of the IP Audit, totaling £3,000 (inc. VAT). This will be paid directly to the IP professional undertaking the Audit, with the final £400 (inc. VAT) to be paid by you.

It is your choice which IP professional to instruct to undertake your IP Audit. Foot Anstey is one of the firms which can provide this service under the scheme and we would be happy to answer any questions you have about the audit process. At Foot Anstey we can:

1. Run an IP Audit for you.

We will identify your assets and the legal rights associated with them and identify how these can be of advantage to your businesses growth.

2. Produce a comprehensive report.

Following the audit we would produce a comprehensive report highlighting any gaps in your protection or risks to the business. Most importantly, our report will advise on the key actions that your business may wish to carry out in order to protect its IP and make it easier to enforce rights in the future.

3. Complimentary follow up call.

We want to ensure you have the opportunity to discuss the report's recommendations with our Intellectual Property team after your audit so you fully understand the advice and any next steps you may need to take.

Sounds great! How do I apply?

You will need to make an application for funding for the IP Audit with a relevant partner; Enterprise Europe Network covers IP Audits in England through its innovate2succeed (i2s) programme, whilst Scottish Enterprise and the Welsh Government cover IP Audits in Scotland and Wales respectively. Once received, if your business qualifies, the partner will oversee and submit your application to the IPO on your behalf.

Want to know more?

Our Intellectual Property Team are available to help you with any questions you have regarding undertaking an IP Audit. Please get in touch with Paul Cox or follow the links below: