An early-stage IP valuation puzzle...

What sort of licensing or revenue-enhancement value does a patent on an automatic shoe lacing system have?  At first blush, cynics might argue “none.”  Will people pay more to cover the costs of having a charging connection on their shoes?   How often do you relace them anyway?

We may get to find out--NIKE has filed for a patent for automatic shoe lacing system. The battery charges through a USB connection, for one.

But, perhaps this could be the beginning of a process change; one more way to capture customer interaction with your product.  How far down the road can we be from receiving e-mail messages like this: “Our records show you have recharged your shoe battery 22 times  As you are probably nearly the end of useful life for your current NIKE sneakers, you should take note of our current sale at the FootLocker you’re currently walking by.”

Good luck with this valuation!