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What is your intellectual property worth?

When people get divorced, there is typically a negotiation over how best to divide the marital property. While this often pertains to items such as your home in Denver, it also applies to other property you and your husband own. For example, if the two of you started a business together, then you will have to work out how best to divide it and your assets. Some of those assets might be in the form of intellectual property, such as a patent for an invention. Like all your other martial property, you, or a professional appraiser, will have to assign a value to the intellectual property.

In general, intellectual property includes items such as copyrights, trademarks, patents and even company secrets. Within a business, these items are usually listed as intangible assets and you can often find them on the balance sheet of the financial statements. These assets, just like the equipment your business owns, will be subject to Colorado's martial property division laws. We will explore some crucial information about valuing intellectual property.

Asset validation

The first part of determining the value of intellectual property is to ensure that all is valid. For example, if your company owns a patent, then you must prove that the fees and other payments are up to date to keep it active.

Asset ownership

The second part of the process is establishing ownership. During this stage, you will have to provide proof to your rights in the property. This means that if you are the inventor, shareholder or other type of owner, you must have documentation that substantiates your claim.


Next, you or the appraiser must examine any transactions that the intellectual property has been a part of. This includes licensing, a sale, litigation or any other monetary transactions that might affect the value of the property.


You must also list key milestones that the intellectual property has attained. For example, you must provide the date your invention received a patent or maybe when your product received approval from the government (if necessary) to enter the market.


Once the appraiser has all of the required information from the steps above, then it is time for him or her to asses the asset and assign a value. Typically the value will be in line with the fair market value of the property once the appraiser has examined all of the particular circumstances and data associated with the intellectual property.

If you are considering divorce and own a business, the above information can provide guidance as to what you might expect in terms of valuing intellectual property. By understanding how the process works, you can make better decisions when it comes time to negotiate a property settlement.

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