The IP Audits Plus Scheme provided by the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) enables small and medium-sized businesses to have a heavily subsidised IP audit carried out by an IP professional.

Under the scheme, SMEs and start-ups can instruct an IP attorney to help them identify their existing IP and areas where IP rights might be beneficial. The cost to an eligible business is £500, and the UK IPO will contribute £2,500 towards the total cost of £3,000 (including VAT).

What is an IP audit?

Auditing a company's intellectual property involves carrying out a detailed analysis of the company's existing IP assets and providing advice on how best to manage their IP and maximise the IP's value. An IP audit can play an essential role in helping an innovative business to develop and commercialise its technology. The results of such an audit can also help potential investors to understand a business's approach to IP.

An IP audit carried out by one of our experienced attorneys at HLK can provide a business with a detailed understanding of its existing IP assets, including patents, trade marks, designs and copyright, along with advice on:

  • ownership of their IP rights
  • how best to harvest their IP
  • the likely patentability of an invention
  • whether their IP is being exploited appropriately to gain a commercial advantage
  • their freedom to operate in the market, and related potential risks regarding third party rights
  • effective IP management
  • developing and maintaining an effective IP strategy
  • how to handle confidential information using non-disclosure agreements
  • how to present the results of an IP audit to potential investors

Who can apply for the IP Audits Plus Scheme?

The UK IPO's IP Audits Plus scheme allows businesses that meet certain criteria to access funding for an audit of their IP position. To be eligible, a business should be growing and innovative, should be technology led and have international ambitions and should have fewer than 500 employees.

How to apply

To apply for the UK IPO Audits Plus scheme an applicant should, in the first instance, contact one of the UK IPO's recognised partners: Scottish Enterprise, the Welsh Government or the Enterprise Europe Network programme. They will advise whether the business would qualify for the scheme. If the qualification criteria are met, an application for the grant is made via the partner scheme to the UK IPO on the business's behalf.

If the UK IPO accepts the application, the business can then instruct an IP firm, such as HLK, to conduct the audit.

How can HLK help

At HLK, we are experienced in carrying out IP audits across a wide range of technologies. HLK can help businesses access the UK IPO grant and can conduct an IP Audit under the UK IPO Audits Plus scheme.

HLK can help you access this funding and provide you with an IP Audit under the UKIPO Audits

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.