Licensing Intellectual Property
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Your trademark is registered and your business is running successfully. In fact, your business is doing so well that you have decided to engage another party to assist you with expanding your business. When entering into this scenario it is extremely important to maintain your ownership and protect your intellectual property.
Your intellectual property consists of more than just a registered trademark, it can also include unregistered trademarks, trade secrets, patents, know-how and business models, to name a few. When you enter into a business arrangement with another party, it is important that you ensure that the agreement governing the terms of the business arrangement adequately considers your intellectual property and ensures that it is protected. When you allow another party to use your intellectual property, you are providing them with a licence. The licence can be exclusive (only they will have the right to use it in a certain territory) or non-exclusive (a variety of parties can use it in a certain territory) and the type of licence chosen will be dependent on your future goals for your company. Are you searching for a partner who will help develop, market and produce your product or are you simply trying to distribute your product to as many consumers as possible?
When providing another party with a licence to use your intellectual property, it is important that a process is established to ensure that you have control over the character and the quality of the goods being produced or services being offered. When the licence is validated by including these control provisions, the use by the licensee of the trademark is equivalent to the use by the owner and, accordingly, any trademark application filed for such unregistered trademarks can use the date of use by the licensee.
Our intellectual property lawyers have extensive experience preparing licence agreements that suit the requirements of a broad range of businesses while at the same time ensuring the protection of the ownership of the intellectual property. Please feel free to contact us about your specific licensing requirements.