recentpopularlog in

Copy this bookmark:





to read

bookmark detail

With Smartphone Deals, Patents Become a New Asset Class - NYTimes.com
September 24, 2012, 1:21 pm4 Comments
With Smartphone Deals, Patents Become a New Asset Class
By STEVE LOHR

patents have become a new asset class.

Traditionally, patents sat on corporate shelves and were occasionally used as bargaining chips in cross-licensing deals with competitors. But that began to change in the 1990s, when technology companies like Texas Instruments and I.B.M. started to regard their patent portfolios as sources of revenue, licensing their intellectual property for fees.

Today, companies routinely buy and sell patents, mostly in deals that draw little attention, for millions of dollars instead of billions. The question, experts say, is how big the market will become.

“Patents are a tricky asset to trade,” said Josh Lerner, an economist at the Harvard Business School. “But there is clearly a huge amount of value in intellectual property. And I think what we’re seeing is the beginning of a lot more monetization and trading of intellectual property rights.”

A sizable specialist industry has developed to build the marketplace for trading ideas. The players include patent aggregators like Intellectual Ventures and RPX, patent brokers like Ocean Tomo and ICAP, hedge funds, investment banks and law firms.
property_rights  smartphones  patents  intellectual_property  law_firms  Steve_Lohr  valuations  Ocean_Tomo  markets  monetization  portfolio_management  cross-licensing  asset_classes 
september 2012 by jerryking
view in context