Are you a talented inventor with more of a passion for inventing than running a business and competing in the market?
Or maybe you’re a business person looking to either buy out competing patents or get the rights to something that would be perfect for your brand?
Regardless of which category you fall into, you’re likely aching for an easy, comprehensive way to go about buying and selling patents so that you don’t have to waste time on researching the best options for you and your circumstances.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered! Since so many inventors and entrepreneurs have grown tired and frustrated of navigating the many different marketplaces, we’ve gathered some of the best options for you to look through here.
Without further ado, here are the top 31 best marketplaces to buy/sell patents and what makes each of them different!
If you’re on a budget or just looking for simple answers to your quest, it’s possible that you are prioritizing free options. Fortunately, there are a number of free resources that you can choose from!
Though specific to Malaysia, PatentMall is a great patent commercialization platform for patents and other intellectual property. It is a web portal specifically geared towards research institutions and universities so that uploaded “technology” (patents) can be guaranteed as quality inventions by astute inventors.
Each patent has its own profile page with price, status and selling method. This page also includes details of the inventor so that buyers can be fully informed and inventors can add personality to their idea.
This is, of course, a limiting resource for anyone not looking to acquire patents in Malaysia (or sell from Malaysia). That said, many inventors look to expand their operations internationally, so it can be a fantastic source for anyone considering Malaysia as a new client base.
Plus, you’ll be able to check if any patents available on the marketplace can be purchased and used for defensive reasons later down the line.
While we have several free options on this list, many “free” patent marketplaces will actually still have hidden fees or costs. That said, PatentAuction.com is one of the entirely free (and legitimate) resources available!
Registering patents to sell and browsing through available patents as a buyer has been relatively fast and easy on this platform for over 15 years now. It is also frequently updated with new inventions by a variety of inventors because of its popularity.
Categories are fairly limited on this platform, however. For this reason, search functions can be a little tricky, especially when so many patents are labeled as “other” since they don’t fit the few specific categories that are available. If you have the availability to sift through options, however, it definitely pays off.
3. Patents.com Marketplace
This resource isn’t known for its aesthetically pleasing layout or easy-to-navigate website, but it does have good functionality. The marketplace feature of Patents.com has been around for years and serves as a search engine, marketplace and educational resource for all things patents.
It is important to note that the best quality of this resource definitely rests in the search engine function which will make your life much easier in this area. Buyers won’t be greeted with extensive options and, as a result, sellers may not have the widest client base, but the free functions and easy searching makes it worth a glance at the least.
4. IP Marketplace
Managed by the Danish Patent and Trademark Office, IP Marketplace has been serving as a resource for patent/patent application, design patent and utility patent models, and trademark listings for over a decade. Plus, it was revamped in 2017 for an improved experience!
One of the best parts of this website is its filter options. Searching for patents (especially as someone who is buying or selling) can be an exhausting process if you have to go through page after page of inventions. Extensive filtering gives users an easy way to find intellectual property in specific categories, countries and even cooperation agreement types.
That said, sometimes the categories are oddly specific which can give users the opposite problem if they want broader terms like “technology” instead of “food tech” or other particular categories.
Lastly, though, IP Marketplace also has a fantastic tool for users to evaluate their intellectual property free of charge. Even if you end up listing on or buying from a different platform, this can be extremely helpful if you are still trying to determine the value of your patent or the type of patent you are looking for.
5. Idea Buyer
One of the biggest platforms in the world for buying/selling patents is Idea Buyer. Founded in 2007, this resource has generated billions of dollars in patent sales with a diverse range of invention types!
As you can imagine, this is an extremely popular marketplace that will give you diverse options to choose from as a buyer and loyal customers as a seller. It allows owners to list their patents and inventions with free registration. Similarly, buyers can also enjoy free registration with their experience.
Though it may not have all of the same offerings that paid resources will have, the lack of financial barrier from paid registration is something that will guarantee a wide range of buyers and sellers for you to interact with.
Another global option to look at is Inpama.com. It allows buyers and sellers alike to enjoy the platform for free with registration, keeping out any cost barriers that may cause hesitation.
One of the special things about this resource is that it offers a guide to inventors to help them sell their patented ideas faster and more effectively. It may not necessarily cover the entire procedure – like learning how to write a patent application or conducting a novelty search – but it’s pretty comprehensive for both sellers and buyers alike. As a seller, this is a particularly excellent perk. As a buyer, you can be assured that the inventors on the site are informed and able to get their ideas to you effectively.
That said, there isn’t an immense list of patents to look through and choose from, so if you are a buyer with either a very specific vision or an interest in looking through a range of different patents, it may not be the best option on this list.
The last free resource on this list would be a Canadian platform known as PCTXS. It gives buyers and sellers the option to license/sell and ask specific prices for International Patent Rights around the world.
Membership is free and gives users the opportunity to perform detailed searches and post comprehensive listings. It also is excellent in terms of gathering all of the available and relevant information on a given PCT from WIPO (including opinions and search reports) to make for detailed PCT searches.
Something to note is that PCTXS is not promising free service for all users in the future. Its priority is offering free service to nonprofits and universities, so make the most of it while it is still free to all!
If you aren’t as concerned about cost with marketplace, you will have some more options! Plus, there is often a reason that services will charge a fee, so they’re definitely worth looking into (especially if you feel like you’ve been hitting a bit of a wall with your search).
One of the oldest marketplace platforms (dating back to 1999), Yet2 has evolved from simply being an online marketplace to also serving as a consulting service to inventors. In their twenty years of operation, they’ve worked with a variety of solo entrepreneurs and massive companies alike.
There are a variety of different membership types for patent owners to choose from, giving them flexibility in their spending. Buyers don’t have to pay anything to register, view or ask inventors questions about their listings, but commission is charged for successful transactions.
Ultimately, it’s hard to beat experience, so this is a platform worth looking into if you have some money to put into the experience.
2. IAM Market
A newer service, IAM Market has only been around since 2015 but has been making moves in these few years. This is a resource that could be under the free category if you are a buyer, but it is a paid service if you are a seller.
This platform features 22 vendors on the site to list patent portfolios, but patent owners are encouraged to sign up for the platform anyway. It does a fantastic job at simplifying the process, making it not only a good choice for people who are new to the game but also an easy choice for people at any stage.
IAM Market allows intellectual property owners to profile their licensing, sales operations and technology transfer programs. It allows buyers to search IP assets based on industry, technology and even transaction type.
Of course, fantastic service like this will come at a price, but it is worth looking into if that isn’t going to be a dealbreaker.
3. Tynax Patent Library
Tynax originated as a simple patent marketplace and has since evolved to offer a patent library as well. They’ve also been leading patent brokers for over 15 years, so their experience has helped shape a fantastic platform.
Everything on this site is neatly organized and categorized, much like the library it aims to emulate. Categories have subclasses to help buyers search specific niches and sellers better classify what they are selling.
Sellers are able to create an account for free and list their patents, paying a fee once successful sales and transactions are made. Additionally, Tynax still offers broker services at an additional cost for buyers and sellers who are interested in this experience.
This platform also services as an IP strategist for buyers so that they can put together a solid defensive/offensive portfolio. They can give Tynax the list of competitors they want to protect themselves from and let Tynax do the rest!
As you may have guessed, this intensive and elaborate service definitely comes at a fairly hefty cost, so it wouldn’t be the best option for buyers/sellers on a tighter budget. Annual membership costs are similar to the cost of obtaining a single U.S. patent, so be prepared to spend thousands of dollars for the amazing benefits.
4. Royalty Exchange
To switch things up a bit, you may also be interested in buying/selling royalties specifically, especially if you are an artist. If that’s the case, Royalty Exchange is a great resource for you.
Resources like this help artists to feel more financially in control of their future so that they can focus more on the art itself and the experience of that market. Royalty Exchange connects artists to investors to better fund their career and give investors an opportunity to work with world-class creators.
The transparency of this platform gives artists and investors alike a chance to truly prosper and benefit from the experience, generating income and making more sustainable careers all around.
Due to its popularity, it’s possible that you have already heard of IP Nexus. Since launching in 2012, they’ve done a great job at making IP information and services accessible and affordable (though not necessarily free of cost) for smaller ventures and startups.
One of the unique qualities offered here is a Q&A forum where experts can answer users’ IP questions and help them more thoroughly understand the journey they’re embarking on. They also have a director for lawyers, a job posting board and, of course, an IP marketplace.
Patent owners can list their patents after registering free of charge. The cost comes through a matching fee (12% for profit companies and 4% for nonprofits) that is charged upon the completion of successful transactions.
Any registered user is able to browse as many intellectual property as they want. Submitting interest in buying is also free as well, but the free option locks a number of different functions on the websites which partially hides descriptions and patent numbers. For this reason, paying a price for upgraded membership is the way to make the most out of the platform (a cost of around $200).
Free for buyers, Idea Connection may seem like many of the other fully free options when you first look at it. Anyone can register and contact the sellers for free, so browsing through listings doesn’t come at any cost.
The price comes on the sellers’ side of things. Sellers can list their patent for up to two years and is marketed with a link to their website and notification to subscribers all for $49.95, a relatively low price as far as paid platforms go.
There are many listings to choose from on this site, so it’s a fabulous source for buyers. This makes it an attractive platform to use from the perspective of a seller as well, especially since there is a crowd-oriented approach to the marketing strategy.
7. USPTO eOG:P
A direct USPTO initiative, USPTO eOG:P is a great way to make sure your buying and selling is done in as official a manner as possible, especially if you are an inventor or entrepreneur from the U.S.
This is another fairly inexpensive option as the service fee is only $25 for a single item. With this fee, patent owners can list their patents without any registration or other tedious work required.
Through this initiative, available patents are listed for purchase or licensing alongside the contact information of the respective inventor. The Electronic Gazette is used to publish these listings every Tuesday.
8. Ocean Tomo Big-ASK™ Market
This is a fairly special platform, so we saved it for last in this section! Ocean Tomo is the first live public auction of patents, trademarks and copyright and has been holding multi-lot patent auction since 2006.
In addition to this offline method of patent buying and selling, they have an online system in place now. It is known as Ocean Tomo BigAsk Market and is communicated in both English and Mandarin.
Patent owners sign an Ocean Tomo seller agreement to include future related assets and are given a serial number and virtual data room for additional details and the targeted price. Buyers can bid on a patent after verification, which can be granted after meeting Ocean Tomo standards and signing a Bidder Agreement.
This is a lot of work before bidding or selling, but it ensures a level of seriousness on both sides that provides security. Plus, bidding is free, and the commission only costs 10% on the buying side and 15% on the selling side.
Patent Brokerage Marketplaces
Brokerage firms can be immensely helpful in your patent buying and selling journey, especially if you’re still a little scrambled with figuring out where to start. That said, there are still many to choose from, so a little homework is still needed on your part!
1. ICAP Patent Brokerage
We’ve already mentioned how great Ocean Tomo is, and ICAP Patent Brokerage is one of their successors. It has been around since 2006 and is known for its auctions across both the U.S. and Europe.
Sellers start by submitting their patents to the ICAP website to be thoroughly analyzed before acceptance. Once it is granted, summaries and claim charts are prepared to make up the catalog featured in the bid.
Buyers will have the option to buy patents privately or publicly bid during an auction. After, they pay a 10% premium and sellers pay commission based on their specific contract with ICAP.
2. IP Trader
Another popular broker choice is IP Trader, a full-service group that helps corporations, law firms, universities, governments and investors. They support both the monetization and commercialization side of the process.
Some of the brokerage services they provide include acquisition, valuing, licensing and selling. They also provide patent claim mapping and can help users capitalize on foreign IP rights to extend past their country of origin.
Though headquartered in New York, they are also set up in a couple of other U.S. cities and in several places throughout China.
3. Adapt IP
If the patents you are looking to buy or sell are centered around technological innovation and change, Adapt IP is interested in helping. There is a fair chance you fall into this category, so it is worth reading further.
This firm aims to help patent owners above all, whether they be individual inventors, investors or operating companies. They avoid limiting their transaction advisory services to simply technology patents and expand their view to any industry (provided the patents are of high quality).
Managing patent transactions across a wide range of industries is increasingly important in a world where so many inventions and innovations overlap across the market. This is why having a broker with diverse knowledge is immensely helpful regardless of the patent in question, and why Adapt IP is a great choice to consider.
4. Transactions IP
If you are a patent owner, you have down your job as an inventor. If you’re a buyer, you want to make sure you find quality patents that come from diligent inventors. This is where Transactions IP comes in to successfully sell those high-quality patents.
Patent sellers are able to submit their patents for consideration and analysis. Should Transactions IP deem your patent worthy of their standards, they will reach out to discuss next steps and everything else is a piece of cake.
Unfortunately, if your patent falls short of their value standards, an upfront fee will be charged in addition to the standard operating cost. This is another one of the many reasons that hard work and diligence is critical in the world of patents and IP law.
The broker services offered here follow an in-depth process to make sure the needs of both buyer and seller are adequately met. They charge buyers a combination fee calculated by hourly fees and a success percentage.
Buyers are, luckily, able to decide their budget at the beginning of the process, so there shouldn’t be any surprise charges.
5. True North IP
For intellectual property transactions across North America, Asia and Europe, True North IP is a great firm to turn to. They’ve overseen hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions and have useful experience to make your process easier.
True North acquires patents and works with carefully selected global clients on high-value transactions and major IP matters. This helps very serious and high-profile clients realize the full potential of their intellectual property and truly profit.
The services offered include funding litigation, selling intellectual property and royalties, licensing/litigating intellectual property, acquiring patents and advising clients.
6. Vibrant IP
Do you consider yourself a VIP? Then maybe Vibrant IP is a match made in heaven! All joke’s aside, this is a full-service medical brokerage firm, so it’s perfect if you find yourself in the market for buying/selling patents in the medical field.
This can mean anything from healthcare to pharmaceutical products, so it goes without saying that Vibrant IP is used to handling high-value transactions. They also have legal experts ready to help you understand every step of the process, whether you are buying or selling.
Medical innovations are critical to making the world a better and safer place, so encouraging that innovation through patent selling and acquisition is immensely important.
7. IP Offerings
IP Offerings is, first and foremost, a patent brokerage firm. They are particularly thorough, using in-depth analysis and marketing processes to most efficiently and effectively match buyers and sellers.
The focus of their approach is to sell patents to buyers as quickly as possible, so they have a marketplace with lists of patents that aren’t protected under anonymity or confidentiality. For this reason, if you are a patent owner, you need to make sure you’ve done your due diligence and are comfortable and ready to sell on this platform.
Some good news is that there are no front costs involved since they work on a contingency basis. IP Offerings will be paid by the sellers following successful sales in the amount of a pre-decided percentage share.
While they offer a great deal to the sellers, they can also serve as brokers for buyers and find intellectual property that matches their requirements. This costs a monthly retainer fee and an additional fee following successful acquisition.
8. Western IP Law
If you are looking for experts in Utah patent law, Western IP Law is the perfect fit for you. Even if you aren’t that specific, they still offer quality advice from expert patent attorneys and will be able to help you.
Specifically, Western IP Law is great with patents and trademarks. While they offer a range of IP services in these areas, it is most important to note in this instance their brokerage services, something they offer to both buyers and sellers.
If you are on a budget or simply like to plan your finances as thoroughly as possible, you’re in luck. They have their pricing neatly laid out and measured according to the number of patents in a portfolio. For instance, a portfolio with 1-10 patents will run you $3,500, but a complex one with 51-100 patents will be around $25,000.
9. Aqua Licensing
If intangible assets are the kind of patents you are looking to buy or sell, Aqua Licensing is a good fit. They specialize in this area since so much of today’s market is comprised of intangible intellectual property, something that can be quite difficult to lay out in a patent.
Aqua Licensing was founded to increase the liquidity of IP assets for a more solid and innovative economy. Their analysis and placement makes matching buyers and sellers of patents much easier, getting the ideas to market much more quickly.
Their process surrounds asset identification, asset valuation and discrete negotiations. They are a prime example of the benefits that come with using a broker for patent purchasing and selling, especially if you could use a little guidance with the process.
10. IP Investments Group
Another great resource for high-value patent acquisition is IP Investments Group. Specifically, they are experts in patent monetization and helping their clients make the most out of their patents.
IPIG offers patent brokering, patent licensing and patent investment services, so it’s a great option if you are looking for help through the entire process.
All of the services offered are provided on a contingency basis with no upfront costs, so there isn’t any needless risk to stress over. Additionally, patent owners will maintain complete control every step of the way, so it’s a great choice for anyone who wants to make sure they remain an active part of the process.
11. Clear View IP
While it’s good to know that they offer a full range of IP services, their brokerage services will be the most important here. This practice guarantees the best price for your patents – whether you’re the buyer or seller – since they will be on your side and will expertly negotiate on your behalf.
Clear View offers personal engagement to evaluate everyone at the start, so you can be assured that they believe in you as much as you believe in them. They then develop and execute commercial strategies to help make sure you are getting the best deal and offer support every step of the way during negotiations.
Ultimately, this is a very hands on practice that is good for just about any buyer or seller, regardless of industry or their previous exposure to IP law.
12. New England IP
As suggested by their name, New England IP is located in northeastern U.S., specifically Massachusetts. They have a range of services from prosecution to patent selling, but most importantly, they are a great brokerage firm.
One of the things that sets New England IP apart is their massive amounts of contacts. This gives them fantastic leverage and makes it much easier for them to personally find the best deals for you based solely on their reputation and relationships.
They have over a decade of experience as patent brokers with over $165 million deals secured for their clients, so if you are a patent owner looking to sell, this is an especially good fit for you.
Programs for Patent Owners
The last category that may interest you would be programs where patent owners can sell their patents. Many platforms have immense interest in efficiently buying and selling patents, and these programs can make it easier and more beneficial.
1. Marathon Patent Group
If you are looking for a patent aggregator, Marathon Patent Group is a dedicated and talented choice to consider. Their services are mainly centered around commercialization and licensing.
The business model of this group is centered around buying quality patents already in litigation and determining anyone else who also may have infringed. Then, they either ask the infringers or potential infringers to get a license or they file a lawsuit.
This is a common strategy for patent monetization and makes the most of patents that have already been through a great deal in courtrooms. If you’re a patent owner who is exhausted by lawsuits, this would be a great place to sell your patents.
2. Google’s Patent Purchase Portal
If you’re a little anxious by all of the unfamiliar names and platforms, you can always go with a reliable source that anyone would recognize. Google Patents Site is a great purchasing portal with a name that can put you at ease.
Google first started this program in 2015 with enormously successful trial runs. Sellers can send in patents for consideration with detailed forms with payouts ranging between $3,000 at the low end and a $250,000 at the highest end.
While these aren’t astonishing payouts, it is a reliable resource for simpler inventions and patents and is efficient and easy to use, so unless you are trying to retire off the sale of your patent, it’s a great option.
A defensive aggregation company, RPX was founded with the intention of reducing the risk of NPE patent assertion and litigation. They have over 320 members and over 40,000 patent assets acquired, saving their members over $3.8 billion.
The company offers users the option of buying insurance or becoming a member, so it definitely wouldn’t be a free option. They also offer patents for sale, though, making it an excellent resource for buyers.
If you are a buyer, you will decide on a patent portfolio to purchase and can choose to fill out buyer information forms so that a representative can get in touch with you. For information on possible fees on the buying end, you should absolutely reach out beforehand since they don’t have it explicitly stated.
For patent owners and other IP holders, a fair market price is guaranteed with payment being assured within 90 days of a selling offer.
4. Allied Security Trust (AST)
Last but not least, we have Allied Security Trust (AST). Their cost sharing model is very similar to that of RPX, but they did it first and have a more traditional approach overall.
Since founding in 2007, AST has processed over 138,000 total patent assets. It was also acquired around 2,500 assets that total over $420 million.
Their model is centered around pooling funds from interested parties to acquire patent rights. Intellectual property that is submitted for sale will always be evaluated by members, and acquisition will only occur if parties are genuinely interested.
Both buyers and sellers can benefit from this since sellers get good prices for their ideas and buyers are set back by far less than they would be if they tried to acquire the rights themselves.
Buying and selling patents is an important experience for business people and inventors alike, so ensuring a quality experience is definitely worth the research.
If you are one of the many inventors or entrepreneurs looking to buy or sell patents, here are some great places to do so:
- Free Marketplaces
- Patent Mall
- Patents.com Marketplace
- IP Marketplace
- Idea Buyer
- Paid Marketplaces
- IAM Market
- Tynax Patent Library
- Royalty Exchange
- USPTO eOG:P
- Ocean Tomo Big-ASK™ Market
- Patent Brokerage Marketplaces
- ICAP Patent Brokerage
- IP Trader
- Adapt IP
- Transactions IP
- True North IP
- Vibrant IP
- IP Offerings
- Western IP Law
- Aqua Licensing
- IP Investments Group
- Clear View IP
- New England IP
- Programs for Patent Owners
- Marathon Patent Group
- Google’s Patent Purchase Portal
- Allied Security Trust (AST)
Whether you are looking for a free resource, an elaborate one, a broker or a specific program, there is definitely something out there for you. What are you looking for with your buying/selling experience?
Legal Note: This blog article does not constitute as legal advice. Although the article was written by a licensed USPTO patent attorney there are many factors and complexities that come into patenting an idea. We recommend you consult a lawyer if you want legal advice for your particular situation. No attorney-client or confidential relationship exists by simply reading and applying the steps stated in this blog article.