‘Intangible’ assets’ investment soars to £137.5bn

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INVESTMENT in ‘intangible’ assets born out of the creative and knowledge-based industries has increased by more than 10 per cent to £137.5bn from 2009 to 2011, according to government figures.

The data showed that investment in ‘tangible’ assets, such as buildings and machinery, fell slightly from £93bn to £89.8bn.

Nearly half of the investment in ‘intangible’ assets was protected by formal intellectual property rights, according to the research. Of this, 46 per cent was protected by copyright, 21 per cent by unregistered design rights and 21 per cent by trade marks.

Minister for Intellectual Property, Lord Younger, said: “These investment figures show the strength and value of the UK’s creative and knowledge-based industries. Continued growth in investment in ‘intangible assets’, along with the fact that nearly half are protected by formal intellectual property rights, demonstrates that some UK firms do understand their real value.

“However, despite these positive figures, as the economy grows a real challenge remains for firms to understand their intellectual property and how it can help them to access funding to invest in the first place. The government has set out an action plan, to help address the missed opportunities and help businesses, and the lending community, to realise and maximise intellectual property assets.”

The Government said it has made key recommendations designed to break down the barriers to access to finance for businesses who want to protect their intellectual property.

These include building understanding of intellectual property in businesses and the financial services sector through improving bankers’ training, and using existing tools and new case studies to increase awareness.

The research was commissioned by the Intellectual Property Office, which sits within the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS).