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IP audits to protect your rights
23 Jan 2017

Award-winning law firm FBC Manby Bowdler offers a specialist service to manufacturing businesses to help them safeguard their intellectual property, and challenge those who seek to steal it.

The detailed audit, carried out by IP experts in the firm's corporate and litigation teams, involves preliminary investigations to establish potential IP rights. This is followed by an on-site visit with senior management to understand the business, its outward facing operation and identify any obvious intellectual property. A plan is then drawn up to outline the action required, timescales and potential cost.

FBC Corporate Partner Charlotte Clode said: “IP probably covers almost every part of a business, from the branding and copyright right through to the trademarks and patents.

“British manufacturers spent nearly £20 billion on R&D last year, yet they risk effectively losing the value of that spend if they fail to protect the innovation which happens as a result.

“Our audit will identify any obvious intellectual property, in particular rights that are not protected adequately or rights that are not protected at all.

“At the meeting, we discuss our findings and any other matters raised by the business or the documentation that we review whilst we are there such as IP licences, terms and conditions of business, R&D and design contracts.”

Research last year revealed that 30 per cent of small firms, employing fewer than 250 people, with IP are reliant on those rights for at least 75 per cent of their turnover. And a quarter of those have experienced some level of infringement.

David Preece, who works with Charlotte to deliver both IP and business audits with a legal perspective, added: “This research shows that businesses of all sizes need to be concerned about IP. When a tech giant like Apple can fail to win a battle to stop a Chinese company using the name ‘iPhone’, it shows why intellectual property should be at the top of the priority list for manufacturers.

Innovation is vital for growth. Research and development can cost big money – yet despite this investment, many companies don't see the IP as potentially one of their most valuable assets.”

To discuss an IP audit for your business, please contact David Preece on 01902 702025 or email

Meet Charlotte Clode

Meet David Preece