Patent ratings and France’s state bank

There was an interesting piece over in Joff Wild’s blog at IAM Magazine about an Ocean Tomo ratings deal with France’s state bank. According to the piece:

The Chicago-based merchant banc has agreed a working protocol with Caisse des Dépôts, the development bank owned by the French state, that is expected to lead to the creation in the autumn of the first ratings platform for European patents. This would be an OT/Caisse des Dépôts joint venture based on the ratings platform that Ocean Tomo already has for US patents.

Wild implies that this is a move toward setting up a European IP transactions market. In other words, the joint venture will be a patent analytic service.

I wonder if this might be headed in a different direction. One of Caisse des Dépôts responsibilities is the development of French SMEs — especially helping to find financing. Could it be that this new patent rating system is the beginning of IP-based lending on behalf of the bank? Given the need to have such a rating system in place to underpin any lending program and given the bank’s basic mission, it seem like a logical fit.

Anyone out there have any additional information?

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