The attraction of the recent Live Patent Auction modeled on auctions for luxury goods is understandable. Patents are generally recognized as one of the most underutilized assets in business. The expertise and required to monetize them has historically led to many patent owners never collecting a tangible return on their invention and investment.

Auctions are great for selling commodities or objects with widely understood valuation methods like wine, cars and art. Patents are more like commercial real estate — potential buyers need to do their homework on such issues as the property’s location, current occupants and habitability. Patent buyers need answers to similarly fundamental questions.

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