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Icap adds to its patent brokerage business

It may seem quirky, but there’s money to be made buying and selling patents, especially in the US.

This is the country that once awarded a Texan company a patent on Basmati rice; closer to the financial world, Cantor Fitzgerald’s eSpeed subsidiary bought the Wagner Patent covering electronic trading and used it to get some money out of various US exchanges. I always thought this was odd, because Europe had been trading electronically for years before this. Anyway, Icap has agreed to acquire the transactions division of Ocean Tomo for $10 million.

“Patent brokerage is an exciting new field that will help to provide a marketplace and access to liquidity for an asset that has historically not been served by a vibrant trading market. It offers participants new opportunities to monetize intellectual property and to diversify investment portfolios with a new non-correlated asset type,” says Michael Spencer, Icap’s chief executive. I would express it differently if only I’d bought that patent on libel I was offered a few years back. 

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