Final Report from the Expert Group on Intellectual Property Valuation

The European Commission  appointed a panel of European intellectual property (IP) valuation experts whose tasks included reviewing the valuation methods for IP and their use, identifying bottlenecks in these methods for the purpose of a company’s financial reporting, access to finance and litigation, identifying good practices and recommending policy actions.

According to this report, “the Expert Group has demonstrated that it is not the lack of valuation methods per se, or even standards for valuing IP that are missing, but rather other barriers that are having a greater influence on business and lenders.” As a consequence, the Expert Group proposes four main policy actions to reduce the identified barriers:

  • Establishing a data source containing information for use by valuation professionals, as a way to enhance credibility of valuations by improving data and available information on IP transactions,
  • Creating an organization to oversee IP valuation practice as a way to increase confidence in the quality of valuations being performed and to ensure that valuations are in line with generally accepted principles and standards,
  • Introducing a risk sharing scheme for banks to facilitate IP secured lending to innovative companies, especially SMEs,
  • Introducing an additional reporting section for intangible assets and IP that would increase the transparency of IP value within company accounts, providing important information to lenders, investors and stakeholders.

To read the full report, click here.

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Allocation of shares of jointly developed results

Ownership over the intellectual property arising as a result of the innovation is one of the most critical issues to resolve in the framework of collaborative projects, especially in cases where two or more partners generate results jointly.

This case study sets out the likely actions to be undertaken in such a situation to avoid any drawbacks and for a proper management of a jointly owned research result.

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IP Marketplace

IP Marketplace is managed by the Danish Patent and Trademark Office and is an online display window where you can look for trading partners and other kinds of partnership. IP Marketplace is free of charge for both buyers and sellers.

At IP Marketplace you can put your patents, patent applications, utility models, design and trade marks - so-called IP rights - up for sale or out-licensing. You can also use IP Marketplace when searching for IP rights to buy or in-license, or when you are looking for partners for innovation projects that build on patentable knowledge.

You can access IP Marketplace here.

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Exploitation channels for public research results

This fact sheet has the aim to present tools, tips and practices for public research organisations (PROs) to convert the knowledge resulting from publicly funded research activities into socio-economic benefits. This can be achieved in different ways, not only through direct commercialisation tools, but also via collaborative or contract research conducted in co-operation with or commissioned by the industry. In so doing, the dissemination and transfer of the generated knowledge to the market would therefore be ensured, with the objective of creating products and services to enhance social welfare.

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Copyright management and Creative Commons in FP7

The Creative Commons initiative is not incompatible with copyright and on the contrary is based on the existence of copyright protection, since it allows the work to be licensed to others interested in using the material.

Take a look at this new case study to see how the use of Creative Commons licences can be beneficial for dissemination of project results, without undermining legal protection.

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Commercialising Intellectual Property: Franchising

This fact sheet, as a part of the series on “Commercialising IP”, deals with franchising. According to the statistics of the European Franchise Federation, in 2009 the EU-17 Member States had more than 10,000 franchise brands, 10.8% of which represented the share of employment among small and medium sized-enterprises (SMEs). Franchising has been increasingly used by European companies and individuals as a route for exploitation of intangibles and expansion of their business to other territories and countries. This fact sheet will therefore help you understand what franchising is and particularly why it is an attractive business option, whether you are a potential Franchisor or Franchisee. Moreover, you will find in this document information on the legal environment in Europe and a checklist of the main steps to take when establishing a franchising partnership.

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D.A Glass: IP opportunity with the support of the Enterprise Europe Network

This case study tells how an SME can succeed in filing patent applications with the support of the Enterprise Europe Network. Having proper competences and cooperating closely with international network partners, EEN representatives assist in developing the potential and innovative capacity of SMEs. EEN partners facilitate direct contact with university experts and patent agents. Such contacts are helpful in the development of new products which are the subject of patent applications filed by network clients.

Additionally, consulting services related with intellectual property rights, provided by Enterprise Europe Network representatives, contribute to raising awareness of patent protection, trade marks and copyrights. In this particular case, the support in the procedures related with ensuring patent protection for newly developed technological solutions was invaluable for the company, especially in formal and legal aspects.

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IP assets for financial advantages

Besides the research activity, the costs of developing a new technology into a product and then marketing it are generally very high. Moreover, it is common for many small businesses to have little money to commercialise their innovations, for which they usually seek support from national financial schemes.

This fact sheet gives an overview of the different means at the disposal of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and research organisations (ROs) to access finance, in order to obtain liquidity from their intangible. The aim is to show that IP can be used as leverage for attracting investors, as collateral for obtaining credit and loans as well as receivables for securitisations. All of this can derive from banks, equity investors and the public sector.

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Banking on IP?

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are fundamental to the economic growth of the EU and their ability to grow is a key determinant of its future economic health.

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has recently issued a study which sought to examine how effectively SMEs are able to use intellectual property (IP) assets to secure the finance that they need for company growth.

For further information and to read the study in full, please click here.

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Automatic Patent Analysis

Experts reckon that much of the technical information contained in patents is not available anywhere else, and that it contains around 80% of the worldwide technical knowledge.

However, patent information analysis is not easy: patent documents are abundant, lengthy and are written in very technical language. Thus, reading and analysing patent documents can be complex and time consuming. This is where the use of Automatic Patent Analysis (APA) can help.

This new fact sheet produced by the European IPR Helpdesk provides some useful tools and explains how to perform an APA, in order for researchers and SME to integrate patent information more easily into their activities.

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