Intellectual Property (IP), including patents, copyrights and trademarks, is often the lifeblood of today's top organizations. For example, IBM Corporation has one of the most vigorous patent filing operations in the world, and maintains an active license program for its 40,000-plus active patents. Someone else might ultimately make the product, but as the patent holder, IBM continues to make money.
But you don't need to be a huge company to take advantage of the benefits of intellectual property ownership. Your own IP may not be hard goods that you can sell, but they are investments. With the right planning and development, small businesses, sole-proprietorships, and even individuals can earn money for years based on their initial investments of time, creativity and expertise.
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