One interesting development in the past month is the promulgation of the Ocean Tomo 300 Patent Index and an ETF (tentatively OTP) from Claymore that will track this index.
Ocean Tomo's index aims to quantify the value of intellectual property owned by companies and then create an index of companies with large intellectual property assets. The index is then further stratified by investment style and company size to create a representative index of universe of companies that rely on intellectual property to create value.
This could be a very interesting tool for people like myself who tend to be hard asset investors. Hard asset investors focus on tangible assets; we tend to be driven by balance sheet value. But it is clear that many companies have "capital intangibles" that are valuable, and at times undervalued.