les Nouvelles - December 2006

Patents As Assets And Liabilities: Patents Can Serve Various Purposes

Francis Hagel

Intellectual Property Manager, Compagnie Generale de Geophysique, Massy, France

The current trend of characterising patents as assets entails a risk: when considering the economic aspects of patents it tends to restrict the scope of analysis to the patent rights owned by the company and their valuation. However for a company which owns and exploits patents in its business an evaluation taking into account patent assets alone is seriously incomplete as it ignores the other side of the coin: patent liabilities. A company is exposed as a result of its commercial activity to the risk of infringing third party’s rights.

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