Defensive intangible asset

A defensive intangible asset is an intangible asset acquired by an entity which does not intend to actively use the asset, but instead intends to hold the asset to prevent others from using it.

A defensive intangible asset is accounted for as a separate unit of accounting, and is assigned a useful life that reflects the expected consumption of the asset’s benefits. The benefit of preventing other entities from using an intangible asset is the direct and indirect cash flows related to their not being able to use it.

A defensive asset rarely has an indefinite life, because its effect is diminished over time due to various competitive factors.

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