Companies in New Jersey and around the country are often fiercely protective of their intellectual property, but they may find it difficult to determine how much these crucial business assets are actually worth. Patents for inventions that have never been put into production will generally be less valuable than those for devices that sell well, and patents may increase in value over time as the products they protect gain in popularity. Patents may also lose value if new technology emerges or consumer preferences evolve.
One way to put a value on patents is to study how they benefit the businesses that own them. Patents that protect revenue streams or hinder competitors will usually be worth more than those that do not. Patents may also appreciate in value when they help the interests of a business to align with those of their corporate partners during joint ventures or mergers. The most valuable patents will generally protect core products that are widely associated with brand identity.
Companies with desirable patents may interest investors despite poor sales or ineffective management, but even the most valuable patents may plummet in value when competitors introduce products that provide similar or greater benefits without infringing on protected intellectual property. However, patents that cover devices in emerging fields may be regarded as valuable even when they do not yet serve any practical purpose.
Attorneys with patent law experience may be able to help their clients to determine the value of their intellectual property by assessing how well it would stand up to judicial scrutiny during infringement litigation. Attorneys could also seek to make patents more likely to survive such review by ensuring that they are detailed, specific and accurate. This can be especially important when prior art exists for similar inventions.