The Chicago Tribune ran an interesting article by Ann Meyer yesterday (click here to read it) discussing companies monetizing IP, specifically patents and dormant trademarks, not just through the more traditional means of litigation and licensing, but also through sales of the IP.  While there are numerous brokers who help sell IP, the article focused on Chicago-based Ocean Tomo’s patent auctions.  It is not very surprising that in a down economy companies are looking to their IP as a significant source of value.  Nor is it surprising that companies would seek to avoid the upfront costs of both licensing and litigation in favor of a more immediate sale for IP the company is not using.  Of course, the continued health of the patent, trademark and copyright dockets in the Northern District of Illinois and across the country prove that companies continue to monetize their IP and protect market space from competitors through more traditional means as well.