Move to allow intellectual property as collateralTuesday, April 19, 2016
BY KARENA BENNETT Business reporter email@example.com
DIRECTORS of the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) are now in discussions with the Government and financial institutions as part of plans to include intellectual property as collateral for individuals seeking funding.
Deputy director and legal counsel of JIPO, Marcus Goffe – who was speaking to reporters and editors at the Jamaica Observer weekly Monday Exchange – however noted that the negotiation process is moving slowly and is dependent on a cultural shift in the financial institutions’ belief that there is "not much reliability in valuing intellectual property".
"It is a very important thing that we are doing and it is not just JIPO. What we want to do is have our financial institutions be able to accept intellectual property and use it as collateral to give loans to individuals in the cultural and creative industries," he said.
"Most of the banking institutions currently require land titles that they can then have their mortgage registered on and use that to grant a loan. We are trying to encourage and work with several persons in Government and the banking sector towards having copyright registration certificates, trademark certificates, design certificates and patents be used by the banks for valuing of assets and access loans."
Ultimately JIPO, like other institutions, is seeking ways to increase financing to individuals who fall under its mandate. But first, it has to come to an agreement with the financial institutions and the Government of Jamaica in confirming a valuation process, setting a standard and a national policy which allow the banks to grant loans on intellectual property.
JIPO is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce and administerers of designated owner’s protection systems through copyrights and related rights, trademarks, geographical indications, industrial designs, patents, layout designs, new plant varieties, traditional knowledge and cultural expressions.
So far, the institution has registered more than 69,000 trademarks for individual creators and innovators, micro, small and medium enterprises.
From April 24 – 29, JIPO will observe Intellectual Property Week 2016, under the theme ‘Intellectual property in the digitised age: creativity, culture, piracy and awareness’.
"There is an existing law that speaks to the security interest in personal property [and] using IP as collateral for a loan. But as you can understand, it is easier to give a car loan than to go through that process, but we’re trying to change the culture," Executive Director LilyClaire Bellamy told the Business Observer.
"If you think about it, God forbid that every factory that produces a well known beverage should disappear, it doesn’t matter, because the name is there and that is what they need. So yes, the physical space is gone, but the value of the business is still associated with the trademark," she explained.
"So they can use that goodwill and reputation to access financing and that’s the state we want to get to, where people recognise the value of the asset that you have which might not necessarily be a house or a car, but your music and designs."