general intangible

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A general intangible is the term for a non-physical asset that is not easily calculated. Examples include literary rights, things in action, and goodwill. General intangibles are particularly relevant when dealing with secured transactions.

As defined by the UCC, general intangibles include any personal property - except for money, documents, investment property, instruments, goodsaccountschattel paper, proceeds from letters of credit, and oil, gas, or other minerals before extraction. 

Like other assets, a party can have a security interest in general intangibles. For example, in Ciprian Ltd. V. Oxford Dev. Co. Grant St., L.P. creditors were entitled to proceeds from the sale of a debtor’s liquor license, a general intangible. 

[Last updated in January of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]