1. The Value of Intellectual Property
2. Utility Patents
3. Design Patents
4. Trademarks
5. Intellectual Property Rights
6. Valuation

Intellectual property value depends on how the protection of certain intellectual property (IP) affects competitors and therefore reinforces a company's advantage over others.

The Value of Intellectual Property

Not all intellectual property has the same value. It all depends on how much the protection of the IP, or its rights, helps the company or individual that owns it, especially when it comes to beating the competition. If a business wants their IP to have value, they'll need to line up their IP rights well with their vision for the company.

If finances and effort are put into protecting the wrong kind of IP, a business can end up wasting money and losing opportunity to get ahead in their market.

No matter what type of products or processes a company specializes in, they will find great benefit in making their company the only company that offers such a product or process. The idea is to "corner the market" on whatever is being marketed. This is where IP has great value.

Utility Patents

If a company can make themselves the main source for the most useful and important piece of their process or product and protect that critical piece with a utility patent, they will find great value in it.

So, if you're planning to patent some aspect of an invention, rather than starting with the idea of what your invention does, ask yourself what is most unique about it. What specific aspect of it do you want to keep out of the hands of the competition? When you find a critical and unique piece of the puzzle to patent, that piece will be very valuable.

Design Patents

Design patents cover an original, visual aspect of a product or process. If you can somehow wrap the specific design of a product up with the company's trademark or branding, you'll have a valuable design to protect. Even if your competitors are able to create the same products, you can distinguish your company by keeping your unique designs protected.


Trademarks are meant to work as a highly distinguishable mark for a company. The value of a trademark will depend on the value of the product or company it represents. If a company continues to grow in popularity and credibility in a certain market, the trademark that represents that company will increase in value.

Securing a strong trademark is a good way to make your products more memorable and distinct to customers, especially if you're offering a product or service that is offered by many others. Intellectual property lawyers are a good resource when trying to come up with and protect a business's trademark.

Intellectual Property Rights

Some of the biggest and most influential companies across the globe view IP as playing a vital role in the success of their business. Intellectual capital and well-protected IP is foundational to a company's growth. Frequently, the mergers and acquisitions that happen in the business world are driven by IP rights.

Intellectual property rights, also called IPRs, can be easily overlooked in business management. There are many ways to use IPRs to a company's advantage, but this is frequently a realm in which some business owners lack understanding and could therefore be missing opportunities to help their company succeed.


When the risks involved in protecting IP legally are weighed against it's potential to make money for the company, the IP has undergone valuation. The value of any product, process, or otherwise is based in its context. Values change depending on location, time, and circumstance, so it's important to ask the right questions when a valuation takes place.

Typically, in the case of IP valuation, only two individuals or companies will be interested in the property and their interest level and willingness to take risks will depend heavily on circumstance. If the context of these interested parties is not considered in the valuation, the end result will be inaccurate.

More tangible types of IP are easier to assess, especially if they are already protected by patent or copyright, but intangible aspects like the following are harder:

  • Training methods.
  • Knowledge and skills of workers.
  • Specific processes.
  • Lists of customers.
  • Networks of distribution.

If you need help with intellectual property value, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.