Leveraging access to finance – making intellectual property work for you
In response to this widespread issue, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has developed a helpful 'IP Finance Toolkit.' This toolkit aims to get businesses understanding their IP assets and position the strengths of such assets better with a view to securing finance from lenders.
The steps that the IPO has taken on this issue, which is crucial for owner managed businesses, SME’s and micro-businesses, are to be welcomed. However, SME’s still need assistance in reviewing their IP rights and IP contracts, and whether there are any weaknesses in a company’s intellectual property portfolio, before presenting the company’s IP position to lenders. An analysis of relevant contracts, which impact on a company’s IP or deliver licences to a company, would also be critical.
How the toolkit will help
Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE, Minister for Intellectual Property, commented in the IPO’s press release (10 March 2015) that: “The UK now invests more in ideas and brands than factories or machinery. Small businesses are the economic bedrock of the UK and it is vital that we help them exploit their IP to secure appropriate finance and grow. … The IP Finance toolkit will help businesses to present the security and financial worth of their IP when seeking finance and help banks recognise the value of IP in a business. It will assist businesses which are rich in intangibles, but lack traditional assets, to make a stronger case when they need to access the finance they need to grow.”