Ten IP Trends You Need To Know About

October 01, 2008 U.S. 1 Newspaper

Patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets are the four basic elements of what is known as intellectual property (IP). As the world becomes flatter and the human race grows more dependent on technology, the value of human creativity becomes more important to high-tech companies both globally and locally, especially in New Jersey.

Since 1968, when I was a patent examiner at the U.S. Patent Office, I have witnessed a number of major changes in U.S. and international IP law. Following are 10 recent, relevant trends that affect high-tech companies in New Jersey:

Trend 1: Intellectual property is becoming a larger part of the market value of publicly traded companies.

As one of the most developed nations in the world, the economy of the United States over the last 50 years has become less and less driven by needs-based commodities. The economy of the United States, and in turn, New Jersey, is increasingly dependent on the ownership and marketing of ideas, that is to say intellectual property.

A patent gives its owner a 20-year monopoly over the patented invention and the market value of intellectual property. Intangible assets (leases, customer lists, etc.) has increased from approximately 29 percent to 79 percent from 1975 to 2005 for the Standard and Poors 500 companies.

For companies such as Microsoft and Google, the percentage of market value attributable to intellectual property and intangible assets is at least 95 percent. All of which means that investors are placing an increasingly high value on intellectual property.

Read entire article at http://www.princetoninfo.com/index.php?option=com_us1more&Itemid=6&key=10-01-2008 Woodbridge.