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WIPO Information Meeting on Intellectual Property Financing

Geneva, March 10, 2009
WIPO Headquarters (Room A), 34 chemin des Colombettes, 1211 Geneva

The WIPO Information Meeting on Intellectual Property Financing took place at WIPO Headquarters (Room A) in Geneva on March 10, 2009. The meeting was open to WIPO’s Member States, and the wider public.

In the current uncertain economic times, intellectual property (IP) financing (the use of IP assets to gain access to finance) is of growing economic importance. Global commerce in the emerging IP asset class is worth an estimated US$300 billion worldwide annually, and some 80% of corporate value today is represented by intangible assets. The financial potential of IP assets is currently limited, however, by systems and policies that are still largely geared to tangible assets.

IP financing occurs in many countries in a range of industries using a variety of financial mechanisms, but its level of success is based on legal and regulatory support, the awareness of the banking industry and development of capital markets. IP financing has great potential in developing countries, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises which rely upon their knowledge and IP assets as the main source of funding. In this context, IP financing can provide an accessible source of relatively inexpensive funding, and encourage further innovation and creativity. In many developing as well as developed countries, however, levels of awareness of IP assets-based financing remain low, and progress is needed to tap this potential. The issue is the subject of international policy development at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

The purpose of the WIPO Information Meeting was to raise awareness among Member States’ copyright and industrial property offices, and the wider IP community, of the opportunities and challenges of IP financing by drawing attention to current practices in different countries and different industries, including in the copyright, patent and trademark fields. The Meeting also highlighted the ways in which improvements in law or financing practices could assist IP rightholders to manage their IP assets for greater value, and thereby sought to assist Member States in setting-up appropriate national strategies in the field of IP.

The presentations given at the Information Meeting are freely available for download by accessing the Program.