intellectual property

Definition

Any intangible asset that consists of human knowledge and ideas. Some examples are patents, copyrights, trademarks and software. Most such assets cannot be recongized on a balance sheet when internally generated, since it is very difficult to objectively value intellectual property assets (slightly different rules apply in the case of software). They can, however, be included in a balance sheet if acquired, which allows a more accurate valuation for the asset (that is, the acquisition cost).

Use this term in a sentence

The patent lawsuits between Apple and Samsung over the past few years had to do with intellectual property of smartphone design features that were allegedly stolen.

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licensing price to book ratio