How to Make Money with IP Without Producing Anything


You can make money with intellectual property without actually having to own it or make anything. You can learn what companies are looking for, research the intellectual property exchanges, and buy and sell IP. You can acquire the rights to intellectual property and then turn around and offer it to a company that might be interested in licensing the IP (also known as sub-licensing). Whether they buy or license, it would depend on the development stage of the intellectual property.

Buying and selling IP is similar to real estate. Many people know how to purchase real estate that is under-performing in the marketplace and turn it very quickly into a performing piece of property. I like to use the real estate model because it’s very similar to intellectual property. If you can find an intellectual property that is under-performing, you can acquire (or control) the rights to it either directly through a license or an option. Then you find a party who can commercialize it (turn it into an income-producing property).

Intellectual property is a vast marketplace. Unlike real estate, which has a multiple listing service where there’s a central repository, and people can find the real estate listing, there isn’t a central repository for all the intellectual property that exists out there.

That’s one of the biggest challenges with the IP marketplace. But that’s slowly changing. If you go online, you’ll find several intellectual property exchanges such as IPExchange, IPtechex,,,, and You should look at them because there are lots of opportunities to find intellectual property available for licensing.

You can do a quick search online, and you’ll find a number of these IP exchanges where you can buy, sell trade intellectual property. Get familiar with them, and you’ll be able to take advantage of them. All of these are opportunities for you. It’s a full marketplace that’s a very fragmented market, and it’s hard for buyers and sellers to come together.

Sometimes it’s similar to the stock market. Arbitrage opportunities are meaning there’s a price discrepancy. You find one product at a lower price from one seller, and a buyer willing to buy it at a higher price. You buy it and then resell it at a higher price. The same thing exists in the intellectual property market. You can make money on the difference between what the property owner is willing to license it for and what the company is looking to license it is willing to pay for it. That presents an opportunity for anyone looking to broker IP or licensing deals.


Rand Brenner Administrator
Founder , Licensing4Profits
Rand Brenner is an IP professional whose passion is helping inventors, startups, and businesses of all sizes use licensing to turn their IP into income-producing products, services, and technologies. His decades of experience run the gamut from medical devices to food technology to consumer products. He’s licensed some of the biggest Hollywood entertainment blockbusters including the Batman Movies (1 and 2), and the number one kid\'s action TV show, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Rand speaks about licensing and is a featured speaker at investment conferences, trade shows, colleges, and startup events. He’s a published writer with articles appearing in several prestigious trade magazines including The Licensing Journal, Intellectual Property Magazine, and License India.
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