Licensing 101


What is Licensing?

Licensing agreements are efficient means very effective at delivering a high return on investment for IP owners. In many cases, particularly for lean startups, entrepreneurs, and even for established corporations, the costs of manufacture, design, distribution, or retail of products and services embodying or bearing patented, copyrighted, or trademarked properties can be prohibitive. Licenses are, essentially, outsourcing a particular service, function, or step in the commercial process to a third party whose expertise allows them to achieve something the IP owner themselves could not or at a price they could not.

Why Licensing?

Simply put: costs. Financial, time, and opportunity costs can make licensing a veritable necessity for owners of intellectual property.

Whether it be one trademark or one hundred patents, a core component of any intellectual property portfolio is the commercial strategy. Executing a game plan to bring monetary value to any IP is an area which Hamilton IP Law brings a first-hand experiential focus.

Different types of license agreements include but are not limited to:

  • Patent licenses to be an exclusive manufacturer of component parts to make an invention functional and cost-efficient
  • Trademark licenses allowing a company to embed their business strategy and risk mitigation procedures into their IP vision, including vesting ownership of all IP to a holding entity and license to an operating entity for use of the marks
  • Copyright licenses allowing copyright owners to prevent a transfer of ownership by sale of music albums, copies of books, or software downloads

Navigating these various methods of licensing requires an understanding of both the business considerations of IP owners and of the law and how it affects IP owners’ rights. Improperly drafted licenses or non-drafted (verbal) agreements may operate to destroy the ownership of the IP, or fail to have any binding effect at law. Understanding this interplay between IP rights, the law, and the business strategies needed to weave the three into a commercially successful venture is one of the chief areas of expertise at Hamilton IP Law.

Entrepreneurs and business owners in their own right, the attorneys of Hamilton IP Law can help you by guiding, advising, and counseling on considerations to own not only your IP, but on how you can truly Own The Market®.

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