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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

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 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 best marketplaces to buy/sell patents and what makes each of them different.

Free Marketplaces

If you’re on a budget or just looking for simple answers to your quest, you may be prioritizing free options. Fortunately, there are several free resources that you can choose from.

While we have several free options on this list, many “free” patent marketplaces will still have hidden fees or costs. That said, is one of the entirely free (and legitimate) resources available.

Registering patents to sell and browsing through available patents as a buyers 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 can sift through options, however, it pays off.

Idea Buyer 

One of the biggest platforms in the world for buying or 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 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 a huge list of patents to choose from, so if you are a buyer with either a 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 allows users 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!

Paid Marketplaces

If you aren’t as concerned about the cost as with the marketplace, you will have some more options. In addition, there is often a reason that services will charge a fee, so they’re 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 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.

IAM Market

IAM Market has been around since 2015. 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 a number of 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.

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 many 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 can 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 serves 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 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.

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 careers and allow investors 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, you may 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 directory 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 can browse as many intellectual properties as they want. Submitting interest in buying is also free as well, but the free option locks several different functions on the websites which partially hides descriptions and patent numbers. For this reason, paying a price for an 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.


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.

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 copyrights and has been holding multi-lot patent auctions 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 to figure out where to start. That said, there are still many to choose from, so a little homework is still needed on your part.

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 a commission based on their specific contract with ICAP.

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.

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 can submit their patents for consideration and analysis. Should Transactions IP deem your patent worthy of their standards, they will reach out to discuss the next steps and everything else is a piece of cake.

Unfortunately, if your patent falls short of its 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 are 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.

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.

Vibrant IP

Do you consider yourself a VIP? Then maybe Vibrant IP is a match made in heaven! All jokes 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.

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.

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.

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 make 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.

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.

New England IP

As suggested by their name, New England IP is located in the 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 its 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 years of experience as patent brokers with over $165 million in 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.

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 $250,000 at the high 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 to reduce 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 reach out beforehand since they don’t have it explicitly stated.

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.

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.

In Summary

Buying and selling patents is an important experience for business people and inventors alike, so ensuring a quality experience is 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

  • Idea Buyer

Paid Marketplaces

  • IAM Market
  • Tynax Patent Library
  • Royalty Exchange
  • IdeaConnection
  • Ocean Tomo Big-ASK™ Market

Patent Brokerage Marketplaces

  • ICAP Patent Brokerage
  • Adapt IP
  • Transactions IP
  • True North IP
  • Vibrant IP
  • IP Offerings
  • Western IP Law
  • Aqua Licensing
  • IP Investments Group
  • New England IP

Programs for Patent Owners

  • Google’s Patent Purchase Portal
  • RPX
  • Allied Security Trust (AST)

Whether you are looking for a free resource, an elaborate one, a broker, or a specific program, there is something out there for you. What are you looking for with your buying/selling experience?

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at