Any Florida business with intellectual property, such as a patent, trademark, copyright or protectable trade secret, might consider offering a licensing agreement to another individual or business.
When a business legally owns intellectual property, they have the right to decide who uses it and under what circumstances. With a intellectual property license, the owner gives another party permission to use the owner’s intellectual property.
Agreeing to grant a license offers several advantages to the owner of the intellectual property:
- A license is not the same as selling the intellectual property. The owner retains ultimate control of their property and, unless they agree otherwise, can still use it as they see fit.
- Because licenses are not the same as sales, a property owner can exercise more control over how others use their ideas.
- Licenses are a source of revenue for intellectual property owners.
- Licenses can also save an intellectual property owner from having to invest the time and expense of turning their protected idea into a finished and profitable product.
- Licensing can help cement key business relationships.
Entering a licensing agreement requires careful attention to legal details
Not every intellectual property owner will need to or want to license their ideas to others. Whether to enter a licensing decision is an important legal decision, and businesses will want to enter such decisions fully informed about their options.
Furthermore, when drafting a licensing agreement, an intellectual property owner will want to make sure that several terms are clearly spelled out in detail.
- How will the intellectual property owner get paid?
- How long will the license last and, if necessary, how can parties terminate the agreement?
- What exactly is the licensee allowed to do under the license?
- Is the property owner protected from the licensee disclosing critical business information to others?
- What happens if there is a dispute over the license or licensing agreement?
Not attending carefully to these items could mean that a business does not realize as much profit from their intellectual property as they otherwise could have.