Thursday, 17 October 2013

Funds for the super-rich? Sort of ...

At last, the UK Government is taking steps to help the rich -- the IP-rich, that is.  Today's media release from the Department for Business Innovation & Skills, and the Intellectual Property Office for which it is responsible, carries the promising title "Plans unveiled to support IP-rich businesses get funding".  Sadly, the reality isn't quite as generous. The media release reads as follows:

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Intellectual Property Office Logo 
A new report to government has highlighted the challenges small and medium-sized businesses face when trying to manage and protect their intellectual property.
Speaking at the Alliance for Intellectual Property Conference in London today [on which see IPKat reports here and here], Business Secretary Vince Cable welcomed the recommendations from the independent ‘Banking on IP?’ report commissioned by the Intellectual Property Office which examines the issue of access to finance for IP [you can find the executive summary for Banking on IP? here: it's 12 pages long, with a generous allocation of white space].

The executive report published today recommends a series of steps including:
  • creating a toolkit to help SMEs, lenders and other financiers identify, understand and make more effective use of their IP
  • making it easier for businesses to show what IP they have when looking for funding
  • developing templates and providing advice which help banks and others understand the cash flow and business value of IP
  • supporting the development of more accessible and effective IP marketplaces
[This blogger's experience suggests that even quite naive SME folk generally have a better idea of their intellectual assets than many supposedly trained and sophisticated finance providers; he wonders if separate tool-kits are needed for SMEs and lenders, since their interests and the consequences of their exposure to risk are quite different] The full report, to be published shortly, recommends ways to help businesses, particularly SMEs, seek investment from banks to protect and invest in their IP. It also recommends ways to give banks the right information and support to value IP correctly ..."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you're being a little bit harsh on this report. It's asking a lot of pertinent questions about IP in the market place. The comments on registering IP assets at Companies House are interesting, and in my mind it raises the question of whether copyright should be a registerable right to allow companies to get maximum value out of it. I don't think the financial system has yet really come to grips with the new knowledge economy, but clearly people are thinking about it. More speculatively, my personal hope is that governments will come up with ideas for new forms of rights to protect knowledge, data, creative output in the internet-based transnational world that we live in.