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Coverage For Intellectual Property Claims Under the CGL Policy

Originally published under the title, “PERSONAL AND ADVERTISING INJURY LIABILITY COVERAGE: An analytical approach to coverage for intellectual property claims under the CGL policy.” 
In the last decade, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of intellectual property claims tendered to commercial general liability (“CGL”) carriers. There is no question that Coverage B, the “personal and advertising injury” liability coverage of the CGL policy, covers some intellectual property claims. For example, the enumerated offenses set forth in the definition of “personal and advertising injury” include infringement of another’s copyright, trade dress, or slogan in the named insured’s “advertisement,” and use of another’s advertising idea in the named insured’s “advertisement.” Various intellectual property claims might also implicate coverage under the libel, slander, disparagement and violation of privacy offenses.

This article sets forth the proper analytical framework for evaluating a claim for coverage for intellectual property claims under the “personal and advertising injury” liability coverage, including a discussion of the offenses that fall within the definition of “personal and advertising injury,” the exclusions and the other important limitations to coverage. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Tressler partners Dennis N. Ventura at (312) 627-4089 or dventura@tresslerllp.com, Shaun McParland Baldwin at (312) 627-4014 or sbaldwin@tresslerllp.com.