If you want to buy corporate stocks, you can go to a licensed stock broker who has access to a stock exchange. If you want to buy U.S. Treasury bonds, you can go to the TreasuryDirect online marketplace and purchase them directly from the U.S. government. If you want to buy physical gold or silver, you can go to a precious metals dealer. If you want to buy bitcoin, you can go to an online cryptocurrency exchange.

But where do you go if you want to buy a patent?

According to one website, there are 23 online marketplaces where you can buy and sell patents.[1]

Below is a small sampling of online intellectual property (IP) marketplaces and the number of patent listings as of the publication of this article:

  • Tynax Patent Brokers: 562,894 listings[2]
  • IdeaConnection: 13,780 listings[3]
  • PatentAuction.com: 5,774 listings[4]
  • IP Marketplace: 858 listings[5]
  • IAM Market: 768 listings[6]
  • PCTXS.com: 350 listings[7]
  • The Patent Exchange: 7 listings[8]

Some IP marketplaces offer additional services such as IP valuation, facilitating IP licensing, facilitating IP investing, and IP litigation financing.

IP marketplaces are still relatively new. The U.S. government has issued patents for over 230 years,[9] but IP marketplaces appeared in the last 20 years during the rise of the internet.

At least one marketplace is exploring the use of blockchain technology, by way of Non-Fungible Tokens, to facilitate and record the sale of patents. We will explore these new developments in the next blog post.