SSAS’s are permitted to invest directly into IP rights or indeed IP rights can be used as security for a loanback from the scheme to the sponsoring employer.
Most companies have a significant amount of IP which underpins their competitive advantage – however this is usually ignored given the lack of visibility or inclusion on the company balance sheet. IP rights can take the form of a company brand, know-how or trade secrets, software, technical or manufacturing specifications as well as in the more traditionally recognised forms of IP such as patents or designs.
While these IP assets can all comprise a company’s suite of critical intellectual property assets, they are often undervalued and rarely managed or protected properly.
This form of investment is becoming increasingly popular with many business owners now recognising the value of their intangible business assets. In the past, placing an accurate value on this aspect of the business proved difficult but with the introduction of more specialist firms to the marketplace who can value intellectual property rights (and indeed advise business owners on how to increase the value of their IP) the investment opportunities have increased significantly.