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Can I license the product I created?

News and Notes Focused on the 3 Public Faces of IP Law

  • Brand Image Protection - Trademark Law
  • Visual Image Protection - Copyright Law
  • Personal Image Protection - Right of Publicity Law

The Image Protection Law blog has been created in order to share stories and information on the legal aspects of: 1) the marketplace reputation of a company or product captured in its trademark, 2) published or publicly-displayed artwork, photography, and any created visual design, and 3) use of a person's photograph or likeness for product promotion or other commercial purposes.

The "IP3" share at least one thing in common: Image is everything. In these posts let's look at what that means in the realm of intellectual property in the news, but let's also be prepared to explore if there's something more beyond "everything." Don't forget, the intellectual in "intellectual property" doesn't mean smart or brainy, although by nature true creators often are. The word is used to refer to any creation, i.e., a "product of the mind." While this blog will be regularly updated, you are encouraged to share your thoughts on these posts.

Typically, once an inventor or artist has created a product that is ready to be brought to market, he or she is left with a very important decision. Should they sell the licensing rights to a company to produce and sell the product so that the creator can collect royalties from the sales, or should they sell the IP rights to the company, or try to produce and sell the item through their own business. This is not an easy decision to make and can be dependent on numerous other factors that need to be weighed.

Many creative folks are most interested in profiting from their creation and moving on to another project. When patents are involved, these folks are sometimes called inventor-for-royalties. Others with a more entrepreneurial sense - as well as finances to back up and support production, marketing and sales - may want to bring the product to market themselves.

For many involved with creative endeavors, licensing your product might be the way to go. When you license your product, you are essentially loaning the creative rights to someone else who can then produce and sell the product. The licensor is the person who is the owner of the product and is selling the rights to a licensee.

If this agreement is made, the licensee assumes all risks that go along with putting a product up to market for sale, but will also reap a bulk of the rewards if the product becomes a best seller. The licensor on the other hand will either receive a one-time payment for the rights, or perhaps royalties on sales. These will be determined in the contract. If you are unfamiliar or uncertain how to proceed with your creative work, you may want to speak with a legal professional for advice and guidance.

Source: Forbes, "Should You License Or Produce Your Invention?" By Jack Lander, Accessed April 24, 2017

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