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Navigating the Securitization of IP Assets in India

Navigating the Securitization of IP Assets in India


The practice of leveraging intellectual property (IP) assets as collateral for financing is gaining momentum as businesses recognize the inherent value of intangible assets. Traditionally, financial institutions favored tangible assets as collateral; however, advancements in science and technology have elevated the importance of IP rights in financing endeavors. Unlike tangible assets, the value of IP assets, which include patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, geographical indications, and industrial designs, tends to appreciate over time, making them valuable security options for creditors. In India, the concept of IP financing in India is still in its nascent stage. Intellectual property financing involves creating security over IP rights while capitalizing on the innovative and creative ideas of a company. This approach proves particularly beneficial for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that may lack substantial tangible assets to secure traditional financing. Recognizing the potential of IP assets, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion included the commercialization of IP assets as one of the objectives in the ‘National IPR Policy 2016. As businesses navigate this evolving landscape, understanding the intricacies of IP asset securitization becomes imperative for leveraging intangible assets effectively.

Feasibility of Securitization of IP Assets in India

Examining the feasibility of securitizing requires a thorough analysis of the applicable laws governing commercial transactions and intellectual property. General commercial laws, such as the Companies Act 2013 and the Banking Regulation Act 1949, provide frameworks for creating security interests and engaging in various forms of business activities, including lending and borrowing. Additionally, specialized IP laws, such as the Patents Act 1970, Copyright Act 1957, Designs Act 2000, and Trade Marks Act 2000, offer provisions for creating security interests specifically over IP assets. Under the Companies Act 2013, companies have the authority to create charges on their assets, including intangible assets, and register them with the Registrar of Companies. The Banking Regulation Act 1949 empowers banks to engage in lending activities and acquire security interests in various forms, including intangible assets. Furthermore, the Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest Act 2002 recognizes security interests in intangible assets as part of its definition, albeit subject to certain exemptions. While specific IP laws allow for the creation of security interests in IP assets, challenges remain in harmonizing these laws with general commercial laws. Additionally, issues such as valuation, validity, fluctuation in value, and enforcement pose practical obstacles to accepting IP assets as collateral.

Challenges in Accepting IP Assets as Collateral

Valuation of IP assets presents a significant challenge due to the absence of uniform guidelines and the need for thorough due diligence. Unlike tangible assets, the value of IP assets is subject to fluctuation over time, making it challenging to predict their true worth. Additionally, the validity of IP assets relies on registration, which can be a time-consuming process. Lenders must navigate encumbrances and title issues associated with IP assets to ensure clear ownership rights. Enforcement and monitoring of IP assets pose challenges due to the risk of infringement and the complexity of IP laws. Legal issues such as jurisdictional variations and ownership disputes further complicate the enforcement process. Moreover, the lack of liquidity in the market for IP assets makes it difficult to find suitable buyers, especially if the assets require specialized markets for revenue generation.

Benefits of IP Financing

Despite the challenges, IP financing offers several benefits for businesses. It widens the scope of financing options, providing an alternative to traditional collateral such as real estate and equipment. By leveraging intangible assets, MSMEs can access additional funding to expand and improve their operations.


In conclusion, IP financing presents promising opportunities for businesses in India, particularly MSMEs. While legal frameworks allow for the securitization of IP assets, practical challenges hinder widespread adoption. To fully realize the potential of IP-backed financing, transparent mechanisms and risk assessment practices must be enhanced. Emulating successful models from other jurisdictions and conducting thorough due diligence are essential steps for lenders to mitigate risks and protect their interests in IP securitization transactions.



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