As the next generation of data-driven analytics gets underway and the need to deliver value from AI system outputs becomes more urgent, smaller players are eyeing up their chance to stake a claim in this multi-billion dollar landscape, which so far has been dominated by Big Tech. The author of this article explains the need to enhance IP protection beyond contractual rights to build controls and safeguards. Robust contracting and reinforcing the human element as an operational step will help to secure ownership through IP rights. This new space offers rich pickings – particularly for smaller, more agile players. The prizes will go to those best able to manouvere through the shifting web of IP, data protection, new data laws, new data governance laws, and new regulation, to claim a piece of the new AI bounty.