Opinions and Editorials

Apr. 24, 2018

Brink News: Corporate Intellectual Property is Being Devalued by Washington, by Judge Paul Michel

Not many years ago, business leaders concerned themselves with only a business’s tangible assets. Those days are long gone. Today, intangibles make up the majority of corporate assets, sometimes up to 80 percent. Intangible assets include patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets—with patents alone comprising 20 percent to 30 percent or more of a company’s market value.

Savvy business executives now regularly monitor patent values. Business transactions involving a patent portfolio can affect stock values and have significant financial consequences.

Determining patent values is inherently challenging. Unlike stock markets, there is no open market for patents and thus no ongoing quantification of value. But the business leader’s job has become all the more difficult because Washington, like the proverbial “thief in the night,” has upended the system, vastly depressing patent values by as much as 60 percent in just the last three years, according to some economic studies.