Intellectual property can be extraordinarily valuable, but only to those who know how to utilize it. Although a strong intellectual property portfolio can build your brand awareness and drive profits in that regard, so, too, can selling your IP. But the most effective way to profit off of your intellectual property may be through licensing. But in order to succeed on an intellectual property licensing endeavor, you have to know how to avoid some of the common pitfalls of a licensing agreement. Here are some of the more common issues that businesses face in this regard:
- Lack of clarity in regard to use: In far too many instances, it’s simply unclear as to what rights are being licensed. This can lead to disputes over how the intellectual property can be used.
- Lack of geographic definition: To maximize your profits, you probably want to limit the geographic scope of the use so that you have the potential to license the IP to multiple parties in different regions. So, again, clarity is key here.
- Forgetting to address assignment: Many licensees will try to sub-license intellectual property. Are you okay with another party having access to your intellectual property?
- Neglecting to consider derivative works: Your intellectual property may lead to the creation of a new product or system that in and of itself is extremely valuable. Who owns that property? The licensee who put in the work to physically create it? Or you since your intellectual property was utilized to create it? You’ll want to hash this out in your licensing agreement.
Take control of your intellectual property
While intellectual property can be valuable, you have to be able to retain some sort of control over its use and specify the terms of that use. Only then can you ensure that you’re protecting your intellectual property while at the same time maximizing your profits. We know that this can be a complicated realm, which is why skilled legal teams like ours stand ready to assist.