Data collected at the October meeting of the Licensing Executive Society suggests some $500 million is lost annually because patents and companies wishing to buy them have no effective way of connecting, according to Nir Kossovsky, CEO, the Patent and Licensing Exchange (plX), Pasadena, Calif. To facilitate this connection, plX is demonstrating a patent auction application due to be active third quarter this year, which will allow commercial transaction of patents across the Internet. The company is currently negotiating a package of patent validity, infringement, and enforcement insurances, as well as an escrow-based closing service. Other features include searchable patent inventories, online bid placement, secure chat-room negotiation, and aftermarket license administration.. "Patents are not commodities -- they are a set of rights that in an efficient market, could be nearly as liquid as financial instruments," says Kossovsky. "Currently more than 600,000 patents are available for license or sale. An additional 265,000 patents join that global inventory annually. On average, a patent will be three years old before it is sold or licensed."