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A legal claim to some future benefit, typically a claim to future cash. Goodwill, intellectual property, patents, copyrights, and trademarks are examples of intangible assets.
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In accounting, any asset that cannot be seen or touched. Intangible assets include things like patents and brand recognition, which add value to a company, but are difficult to price. Intangible assets explicitly do not include actual things, such as widgets, a widget factory, or the land upon which the widget factory is built. Because of the difficulty in pricing, intangible assets are sometimes not included in a company's valuation. However, not including them may not express the company's true value. See also: Tangible assets.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved
An asset such as a patent, goodwill, or a mining claim that has no physical properties. Since intangible assets are often difficult to value accurately, such assets when included on a corporate balance sheet may have a true value significantly different from the dollar amounts indicated there. Compare tangible asset.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.