Learning about licensing

Once a patent is granted, or a trademark is registered, what can be done with it?  Besides using it to protect your own use of your intellectual property, it can provide indirect benefit which can be just as valuable.  Both patents and trademarks are property, and just like the owner of a house can rent it out to generate income, intellectual property owners can enter licensing agreements to make money. Here are some helpful resources to get started learning about licensing:

  • The US Patent & Trademark Office offers an Intellectual Property Awareness Assessment Tool which is helpful both for owners of intellectual property and for the business owners who may be interested in the other side of the licensing transaction.
  • The Licensing Executives Society (U.S.A. and Canada) has prepared a Basics of Licensing Booklet  that starts with defining licensing and proceeds to describe the process.
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association's website discusses intellectual property law, and also has pages about patents and trademarks that include the role of licensing.
  • Some other reasons for licensing besides revenue generation are detailed here by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association.
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