In a knowledge-based economy, investors are keen to track the companies with the most valuable intellectual assets. A handful of young companies, including Ocean Tomo, LLC, 1790 Analytics LLC, and The Patent Board, say that the answer is patent analytics, a method of evaluating patent quality and portfolio trends. Each company is promoting its own financial product to woo investors with the promise of a new, objective tool for analyzing a company’s intangible assets. But intellectual property attorneys are skeptical.

In November, Chicago-based Ocean Tomo launched its Ocean Tomo 300 Patent Index, a list of the top 300 public companies as ranked by the quality of their patent portfolios, on the American Stock Exchange. One month later, financial services company Claymore Securities, Inc., launched an exchange-traded fund based on Ocean Tomo’s index, the first of its kind, which at press time had more than $15 million in assets.

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