Intangible asset is something of value that cannot be physically touched, such as a brand name, franchise, trademark, or patent.
There are two basic types of intangible assets. On type of intangible asset is called a legal intagible asset. Legal intangibles include trade secrets such as customer lists, trademarks, patents, and copywrites. Another type of intangible assets is a competetive intangible. A competetive intangible includes basic knowledge activities in a company. Legal intangibles can be defended in a court of law since they are technically considered property. Competetive intangibles cannot be "owned" and, in many cases, cannot be defended in court. They do, however, have a large impact on the original company if they were to leak out, since competetive intangibles are the main source of competetive advantage over other companies. Developing new intangible assets is an important priority for most corporations today.