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Bankruptcy and IPIf you have intellectual property rights and are considering filing bankruptcy, then you should always speak to bankruptcy attorney prior to filing to make sure you are receiving the most accurate and up to date advise. If you are in possession of intellectual property rights from music, publishing or other sources in which you receive royalty income, bankruptcy may not be in the cards for you if the intellectual property is generating significant income. This bankruptcy intellectual property article goes into great detail about how a bankruptcy trustee is thinking when deciding whether to take possession of your intellectual property rights or not.

In every bankruptcy case that is filed, a trustee is appointed to the case to determine whether you have assets that or worth more than the allowable exemption limits. In Washington state, a debtor may choose to use Federal bankruptcy exemptions or State bankruptcy exemptions. The Federal exemptions allow for significantly more “wildcard” exemptions which may be applied to your intellectual property or other assets that are over the limits in other exemption categories.

Therefore, when deciding when to file bankruptcy, a debtor must determine what the odds are that a trustee would want to take possession of the intellectual property rights. If the intellectual property rights are not generating any income or it is minimal, a trustee may allow a debtor to keep possession of the asset. Another possibility is for a debtor to pay a trustee over a period of time the value of the intellectual property assets. Determining the value of the intellectual property may be difficult, however every asset in bankruptcy has a price. Depending on what a debtors total debt is, what the potential for the intellectual property assets to earn income in the future is, and how much a debtor is in need of a fresh start, are all factors a debtor should think about before filing bankruptcy.  HERE is a good example of intellectual property involved in a bankruptcy.

If you have additional questions about whether you will be able to protect your intellectual property when you file bankruptcy, give Symmes Law Group a call at 206-682-7975

  • Richard Symmes

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