Yes, patents and patent applications are property, and as such, can be transferred or sold just like other tangible property. Owners of quality patents who are less willing to seek remedies through the court system, or would prefer to quickly capitalize on the value they have created through their innovations can sell their patents outright. This method of monetizing patents can be particularly useful if the patent owner’s business roadmap has changed since applying for the patent, or if other circumstances make monetizing patents through enforcement or litigation difficult.
A variety of willing buyers exist for quality patents. Groups like Marathon Patent Group have purchased and monetized patents from individual inventors and Fortune 500 companies alike in all technology areas. RPX Corporation has spent about $2 billion acquiring quality patents since 2008.