This guest blog post is provided by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) which is responsible for the administration and processing of the greater part of intellectual property in Canada.

Loans for IP

You put your ideas on paper. You did your research. You made it happen. And now you're just about to get serious about marketing your product or service. But after all the work and passion you have invested into it, you want to make sure that the fruit of your ingenuity does not get copied — smart thinking! It's time to protect what is yours.

From administrative fees to hiring an IP professional, there are different costs associated with protecting your IP. The costs for applying for a patent or registering a trademark, industrial design or copyright can add up quickly. They should be considered against your budget, the value of your IP assets, as well as your future plans for your business. Chances are, if you are just starting up, you're going to need financing.

You may already be familiar with traditional forms of business loans, but did you know that the Government of Canada has also put in place various financing assistance programs? These programs can help cover costs associated with protecting and acquiring IP rights.

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) offers a spectrum of financing, indirect financing and advisory services for Canadian businesses, including Start-up financing for a new business, the Small Business Loan up to $100,000, and the Xpansion Loan designed to help you realize projects that are key to your growth, without putting your cash flow at risk.

The CanExport program offered by Global Affairs Canada in partnership with the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) through the Trade Commissioner Service provides direct financial assistance to Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises looking to develop new export opportunities and markets. The Trade Commissioner Service is also responsible for the Going Global Innovation program that could provide funding for drafting IP agreements as part of efforts by Canadian innovators to commercialize technology through the development of R&D partnerships with targeted partners in foreign markets.

Leverage your IP for a loan

If you have already been in business for a while and you want to expand to new markets, invest in new products or simply pay off debt, you can use your protected IP to generate funds or obtain credit for other activities within your business.

Traditional forms of IP financing include selling IP outright or licensing IP for use by others.

Find helpful information

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office's website offers a wealth of information for all your IP questions and endeavours. From getting a loan for your IP, to finding links to Canadian, governmental, and international IP or finance-related authorities, it is your ultimate source of information. Finally, if you need more help to guide you through a smoother process, hiring a professional IP agent can be a wise decision.