By Daniel Hunter

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) has commissioned a research project that holds out the promise of companies’ intellectual property assets — patents, trade marks and designs — being more readily accepted as collateral for bank loans and other sources of finance.

John Alty, chief executive of the Intellectual Property Office, announced the project at an event organised by the IP Awareness Network (IPAN) in the Houses of Parliament, to mark World Intellectual Property Day (26 April).

This new study will examine the role of IP in raising business finance and as a driver of economic growth in the UK. It also aims to identify barriers to the broader use of intellectual property rights (IPRs) and other intangible assets for debt and equity fundraising.

The project is being led by two of IPAN’s member organisations, Valuation Consulting Co and Inngot. IPAN’s 40 member organisations, together representing hundreds of IP-based businesses, will be consulted as part of the research.

IPAN’s chairman Peter Prowse said that the research should provide further evidence to encourage banks and investors to take greater account in their decisions of the very real value of IP assets.

“Three of IPAN’s members have worked hard to scope this research project and make it happen: Kelvin King, Managing Director of Valuation Consulting Co, Martin Brassell, CEO of Inngot, and John Ogier, Guernsey’s Registrar of Intellectual Property," he said.

"They and other IPAN members will now be gathering and analysing evidence that should make a valuable contribution to the government’s package of initiatives to encourage business investment in innovation.”

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