For patent owners or patent application owners who are strapped for cash, a large number of economic institutions and funds have recorded assignments for patents or patent applications held as collateral for business loans.
Marathon Patent Group, a group that is a testament to the value of patents through its business model of purchasing patents, secured $50 million long term financing from Fortress Investment Group using patents as collateral.
However, loans based on patents are not limited to specialty investment groups. More traditional banks have recognized the value of patents. In fact, between 2009 and 2014, JP Morgan Chase transacted 48,804 patent assets, Bank of America transacted 46,897, Citigroup transacted 34,658, and Wells Fargo transacted 32,716. (Read more about it here) These banks continued to loan on patent assets in 2015.
As one would expect, financing was provided based on patents, but financing was also provided based on patent applications. By way of reminder, patent applications are not enforceable assets, as patent applications have not yet met all the requirements by the USPTO to become enforceable patents. Financing based on patent applications indicates that these traditional creditors, who are typically financially conservative, expect to be able to generate a reasonably high return from these patent applications.