If you are the owner of intellectual property (IP), it is imperative that you protect your rights by properly registering it and using a licensing agreement that safeguards your rights. For more general information, please read our blog titled “Understanding Licensing Agreements.”
When creating a licensing agreement, you first need to determine the scope of the license. You will want to keep ultimate ownership of the IP, but you can assign limited use rights. The license scope should be broad enough that others will want to use your IP. Generally speaking, unless the IP is custom-made, the license is usually nonexclusive, so you can sell or license the use of it to other parties.
In most circumstances, you will want to make it clear that the license does not allow the licensee to reproduce or pirate the IP in order to sell it to third-parties. However, if you allow the licensee to reproduce the IP, you will want to be paid royalties or ongoing maintenance charges in exchange for the resale license.
Other topics your license agreement should cover include:
- How long the license will last
- Outline any rights of the licensee to modify or combine the IP with other products
- Set forth any prohibited uses of the IP
- Establish whether there are rights to transfer or sublicense
- Detail the warranties; Disclaimer of the UCC warranties
- List the limitations on the licensor’s liability
- Include a provision covering nondisclosure of protected information
- Outline indemnity for infringement
- Set forth available remedies
- Establish the conditions for terminating the contract
There a numerous factors that must be considered and negotiated when creating a license agreement. The laws governing intellectual property can be complicated, so having a seasoned attorney assist you is invaluable. Contact Leslie S. Marell today to schedule your appointment.