Should You Look to Your Intellectual Property Portfolio to Get Through This Recession?

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Most companies and individuals are looking to cut expenses right now, but have you considered looking to your intellectual property portfolio to generate additional capital?

According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, many companies and even individual inventors are doing just that right now: while the rest of the economy is sinking, business is booming for Ocean Tomo, which is perhaps best known for its intellectual property auctions.

The Chicago Tribune reported:

As firms streamline operations to save money amid the recession, a growing number are looking to generate cash by selling or licensing their dormant trademarks and patents. That's creating new demand for Chicago-based Ocean Tomo's intellectual property appraisals, auctions and other services. . . . Ocean Tomo, which had revenue of about $30 million in 2008, is expecting revenue growth of 25 percent this year.

Of course, you don't have to sell your intellectual property to make money off of it.  Licensing is also a very effective way to commercialize your intellectual property, and licensing has an added benefit over selling: you can license your intellectual property without losing control of it altogether.

So, if you don't have a large patent portfolio, what types of intellectual property might be commercialized to create another stream of income?

Well, according to the Chicago Tribune, trademarks are very marketable in this economy.  Also, creative works can also be very marketable, regardless of whether they are written publications, recorded speeches, designs, or other creative works.

The bottom line is that if you are looking to generate some additional capital right now, it might be time to carefully review your intellectual property in order to see what products might be commercialized.  Whether you choose to sell or license it, your unused intellectual property may just be the stream of income you need to get through this recession.

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