How IP assets figure into your divorce in Washington

On Behalf of | Nov 12, 2021 | Divorce

Some statistics show that about half of all marriages in the United States are ending in divorce, whether it’s the person’s first or latest marriage. This only makes it all the more crucial that all Washington marital assets are properly identified and allocated between the two parties. It’s the best way to prepare for the next chapter of life post-divorce, allowing everybody to move forward with a fresh outlook, a clean slate, and all the assets they rightfully deserve.

Tangible vs. intangible assets

Tangible assets are things like real estate and bank accounts. These are fairly self-explanatory and thus are easy to identify and value in a high-asset divorce. With intellectual property, it’s much murkier due to the intangibility. This includes patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights, and software. These intangible assets are exponentially harder not only to identify but to determine the value of.

IP assets often come into play in divorce proceedings when one of the parties founded or was an employee of a tech company. In these cases, it’s necessary to obtain rights to the intellectual property via one of several options. This is commonly done by having yourself named as an inventor or co-inventor on the patent or named as a shareholder in the company owning the IP assets.

IP assets still have a high value in the world of economics, and yet, they’re often still pushed to the side in couples’ divorce considerations. You can do yourself a big favor going forward into the future – once you’ve navigated through the throes of divorce – by approaching your assets methodically in the identification and valuation process. It takes thorough data discovery and analysis to understand intellectual property assets fully and ensure that marital property is divided properly.