I Just Called...To Say... I'm Bankrupt: Telecommunication and IP Issues in Bankruptcy


Introduction and Overview

Unlike more conventional debtors, technology and telecommunication-based entities bring to the liquidation and reorganization process their own set of issues, many of which are yet unresolved.  The assets of many of these prospective debtors consist of no more than a few computers, license agreements and customer relationships, which can disappear overnight.  From time to time, a domain name  or a web site can add to the value of the enterprise.  Often the only valuable assets consist of trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks or patents which must be liquidated or utilized in connection with a reorganization of the debtor.  In other cases the debtor has assets consisting of communications lines buried beneath the city streets with minimal liquidation value.  The United States Bankruptcy Code and recent decisions by the courts of the United States illustrate the difficulty of dealing with these types of ephemeral assets.

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