You may run into difficulty when dividing marital property in a divorce. This often occurs because of disagreements or conflicts between spouses. If your situation involves intangible assets though, it might result from confusion regarding that asset’s value. A novel, for example, might have value wrapped up in audiobook options, international releases or even movie rights.
Determining the value of all those options is important when dividing it as a marital asset.
Types of intellectual property
Intellectual property includes anything from the copyright of a work of art to patents on an invention. While this may sound like the domain of businesses, anyone can create an IP protected by the law.
Ways to value intellectual property
As the World Intellectual Property Organization describes, IP value comes down to exclusivity and future benefits. If you own your IP, you own the right to exclude others from using it. Combine that with the economic benefits of licensing the IP over the years, and you have an approximation of that IP’s value.
Methods of evaluation include comparing the most recent cost of licensing that IP or the cost of similar IPs on the market.
Ways to divide intellectual property
Maryland is an equitable distribution state. Once you know your IP’s value, the courts may give you full rights of the IP in exchange for a comparatively fair amount of assets going to your spouse. Since IP is intangible though, you and your spouse may agree to split those rights instead.
When in doubt, there are options and resources available to help enlighten any confusion you may experience when considering how to divide the value of your creations.