Protecting Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property Portfolio And Selling A Business Staff Pick

Written by: Andrew Y. Schroeder Esq.

Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights can become a valuable asset in the portfolio of your small business or corporation and should be managed judiciously. One of the most daunting questions a small business owner faces when he or she decides to sell their business is "what do I have to sell?". Aside from the phone number, address, and equipment, the main asset that is marketable is goodwill in most cases. Yet the concept of goodwill is elusive, amorphous, and difficult to quantify and monetize. How do you measure goodwill? How difficult would it be for another business to amass the goodwill your business has accrued in the marketplace from scratch? How quickly could they build their own good will especially after the impending vacuum your exit will inexorably create?


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The Importance Of Intellectual Property When Buying Or Selling A Business

Andrew Rogerson is a 5-time business owner and Certified Business Broker that loves helping entrepreneurs sell or buy a business.  Andrew currently holds the Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) designation from the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), the highest designation awarded by the IBBA. Andrew has also earned the Certified Business Broker (CBB) designation from the California Association of Business Brokers (CABB.)

He holds a Certified Machinery and Equipment designation (CMEA) from the NEBB Institute and is a Certified Senior Business Analyst (CSBA) with the Society of Business Analysts. Andrew is a member of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce and past Chair of the Sacramento Chapter of the California Association of Business Brokers.


Exploiting Your Ideas Commercially

If you do not want to, or cannot, exploit your intellectual property (IP) yourself, you can sell it to someone else. This means that you get paid for the IP you have spent time and money developing. The buyer is then free to exploit the intellectual property that they have bought in whatever way they choose.

Usually the price paid for this type of sale of IP is fixed. However, sometimes the sale agreement may contain a clause that triggers bonus payments if certain sales targets are reached within a given timeframe.

The sale agreement may also specify that the IP is only being sold in relation to a specific geographic territory. For example, you could sell the right to exploit your IP in the USA but retain the right to exploit it in the rest of the world.