Quick Navigation



IP valuation: a building block for success

27 January 2014 - No comments »

EPO President Benoît BattistelliOver the past decade, the valuation and monetisation of intellectual property have become ever more important. In the past, the approach to these matters was mainly defensive, when liquidity problems led companies to look for things they could readily sell, including immaterial assets. Latterly, however, the management of patent portfolios has become increasingly dynamic, with the use of licensing and mortgages, as IP owners come to realise the dormant potential of patented technology.

A recent conference gave me the opportunity to present the main features of the patent system to an audience of fund managers and bank representatives wanting to know more about IP in general and patents in particular. The topic attracted a great deal of interest. While patents are not a guarantee of economic success, they can be a very useful indicator of a company’s potential value. This applies in particular to SMEs, and all the more so to start-ups, which often lack tangible assets to secure a loan request. A recent study commissioned by the UK IP Office (“Banking on IP? The role of intellectual property and intangible assets in facilitating business finance”, December 2013) draws some very interesting conclusions about the huge benefits that remain untapped in this field, mainly because of the lack of information and understanding between the worlds of IP and finance.

A patent office has no role in assessing the economic potential of a patent or patent application, which in my view requires specific skills and experience better found among practitioners in the private sector. Economic appraisal could also interfere in the examination process and affect the equal treatment of users of the patent system. However, by improving the quality of the granted patent, a patent office can certainly help right-holders to build trust in the soundness of their intellectual property and thereby to obtain financing. The EPO also provides access to a vast stock of data that can be used for valuation or for macroeconomic research, as in the study recently conducted with OHIM on the economic impact of IP in the EU.

In recent years, European governments have repeatedly insisted on the importance of building an innovation-friendly environment in our knowledge-based economy. To this end, IP valuation is an area offering scope for real progress.

Benoît Battistelli


  • Share this post:

Older posts

2013 at the EPO: sustaining growth and progress

The EPO filing figures for 2013 were published last week. Although they remain preliminary – largely because of the 2013 PCT applications which have yet to reach us -, the […]

Progress in 2013 on the unitary patent package

Less than a year after the entry into force of the EU Regulations on unitary patent protection and the signing of the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC), it […]

The EPO and SIPO reinforce their cooperation

The cooperation between the EPO and the patent office of China (SIPO) dates back almost 30 years, to the signing of the first cooperation agreement in 1985. The bilateral Heads […]

Concrete benefits from IP5 cooperation

The EPO has long seen the need to respond to the globalisation of the patent process, reflected in the ever-increasing proportion of patents filed in multiple offices and in the […]

Raising IP awareness among EU policy-makers

Last week, in Brussels, the EPO and OHIM held a joint seminar on the essentials of IP for EU officials. I was delighted to see that this event attracted some […]

Helping to shape the future litigation system

On 25 and 26 October the European Patent Academy‘s European Judges Forum was held at Venice International University on the island of San Servolo. This forum, launched in 2005 and […]

Patent information stays high on the agenda

Last week, I attended the EPO Patent Information Conference, hosted this year by the city of Bologna, which, as an industrial, academic and cultural centre that has nurtured so many […]

The EPO at 40 – a European and technical success

Last week, on 17 October, the EPO marked the 40th anniversary of the signing of the European Patent Convention, which took place in Munich on 5 October 1973. I had […]

Measuring IP’s economic benefits

Last week in Brussels, at a press conference with Commissioner Michel Barnier and OHIM President António Campinos, I had the pleasure of presenting an EPO/OHIM joint study on the economic […]