Larger intellectual property (IP)-rich companies are increasingly recognising the benefits of including IP on the balance sheet, as revealed in a league table featuring 30 new entrants this year.
Acquired IP assets, as a result of mergers and acquisitions, has encouraged companies to take IP management more seriously, according to Stephen Robertson, director and founder of Metis Partners. “IP is a vital measure of the strength and viability of a business. The IP100 is providing a barometer of the importance businesses place on IP, and can be used by lenders and investors to judge the robustness and scalability of companies they might invest in,” he explained.
Kromek Group, a County Durham based radiation detection solution provider has topped the 2016 Intellectual Property League Table (IP100). The company has over 247 patents covering medical, nuclear, and security industries. Number two on the list is Aberdeen based COREX, a company specialised in analysing geological samples for the oil and gas industry.
In third place is Cambridge based B2B software specialists, Metail, who design 3D modelling software for the fashion industry, allowing online retailers to provide customers with a 94 to 96 per cent accurate model of their bodies to facilitate online clothes shopping.
The IP League Table is collated based five IP asset classes – brand and reputation, patents, critical databases, software, and trade secrets. The table profiles and ranks private sector companies in the UK which have significantly invested in IP creation, IP management policies, R&D activities and IP commercialisation.
Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks are the headline sponsors of the IP League Table, and according to Robertson, have long recognised the value of IP, lending to businesses with strong IP assets. “We are excited to be able to highlight the advantages that effective IP management can bring to a successful fundraising or exit,” Robertson added.
As an example, Touch Bionics, an IP-rich Scottish business funded by Clydesdale Bank was sold for £27.5 million earlier this week. “This builds on the recent exit of and fundraising of IP100 entrants SwiftKey, eeGeo and Sphere Fluidics,” Robertson explained.
“It has become a hotbed of innovation and has created a community where IP-rich companies can share their experiences and successes in breaking into international markets, fundraising, gaining a valuation for their IP and even securing an exit at generous multiples!”