Darren Tang
WIPOs data shows that more people are using the global IP system today than ever, Darren Tang said. Image Credit: WIPO

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has announced plans to partner with the UAE to launch an intellectual property (IP) financing toolkit which will help entrepreneurs use IP and other intangible assets as collateral to secure funding for business growth.

“Given the dynamism of the financial services sector in the country, WIPO is looking to support the development of IP financing so entrepreneurs in the UAE can use IP and other intangible assets as collateral to secure financing for business growth. With this, IP won’t be just a business asset but also a financial asset,” said Darren Tang, the Director General of WIPO. However, the WIPO chief did not provide details of when the toolkit would be launched.

Tang said during this address at the World Government Summit that WIPO aims to transform itself from a technical-driven to an impact-driven agency.

WIPOs data also shows that more people are using the global IP system today than ever. “Over the past five years, global IP applications have increased by 40 per cent. Worldwide filings of patents, trademarks and designs hit record highs in 2021 despite the challenges of the pandemic. Not only is there a growth in IP innovation and creativity, but engines powering this growth are also changing,” he added. Tang said a majority of the IP filings in the world came from Europe and North America 10 years ago.

“That number has now dropped to 30 per cent, with 70 per cent of IP filings coming from Asia, Africa and Latin America,” he said. Also, 10 years ago, only five countries were home to unicorns, “Today, that number is closer to 50, including countries like Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria, Senegal, and the UAE,” he stated. Consistently improving economies in WIPO’s Global Innovation Index are Turkey, India, Philippines and Vietnam, said Tang.

“We are working towards bringing IP to the grassroots and helping innovators and creators on the ground to use IP to bring their ideas to the market,” said Tang.

There are critical areas for collective work ahead, said the WIPO chief. “One is by de-mystifying IP and helping lay persons, business owners, artists, designers, creators and entrepreneurs acquire practical skills by using IP as a toolkit for success,” said Tang.

As part of WIPO’s outreach and education programme, at least 27,000 people worldwide were trained in the last two years on methods of how IPs can be leveraged for startups. WIPO is also scaling its partnerships with schools and universities so that even secondary school students can understand the benefits of leveraging IP.

“We are also working on creating a more inclusive global IP system that includes women entrepreneurs, youth and SMEs,” said Tang.

WIPO is one of the 15 specialised agencies of the United Nations. It was created to promote and protect IP across the world by cooperating with countries as well as international organisations and has a total of 193 member states, including the UAE. IP refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce, explained the WIPO chief.