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In the early 21st century a greater focus on intangible assets is gaining ground. This marks a paradigm shift in how intangible assets - specifically, Intellectual Property (IP) - are viewed from an economic standpoint. Patents, while once viewed as tools used primarily for the prevention of copying of inventions, have now become business assets that can be aggregated to defend market shares or even entire markets. Naturally, these modern business assets are of great interest to investors and have thus become subject to valuation and trade in much the same manner as securities, or even commodities. This paper introduces emerging business models in this arena and suggests measures that technology companies might take to protect market shares in view of the new economic landscape.
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