les Nouvelles - September 2008

Leveraging Software Via The Capital Markets

Dwight C. Olson

Principal, V3Data, San Diego, CA, USA

David C. Drews

President, IP Metrics, San Diego, CA, USA

In Gordon Smith’s book “Valuation of Intellectual Property and Intangible Assets,” third edition, he discusses that proprietary technology or trade secrets and know-how is often more valuable to an enterprise than its patents. He references Karl Jorda, David Rines Professor of Intellectual Property Law and Industrial Innovation at Franklin Pierce who states, “Patents are but the tips of icebergs in a sea of trade secrets. Over 90 percent of all new technology is covered by trade secrets and over 80 percent of all license and transfer agreements cover proprietary know-how or hybrid agreements relating to patent and trade secrets.” Much of those trade secrets are in software processes, products and programs, electronic databases maintained by software, and trade secrets embodied in software. With so much invested in software, how can it be leveraged?

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