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Know the kind of license agreement you need

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.

Tapping into a broader market is often a key goal of a small to medium enterprise. The reason is simple; there's potential revenue in such expansions. Why leave it on the table?

But as we noted in a previous post, where intellectual property is the resource, it's important to have the right pieces of the licensing puzzle in place. You need to be confident you have the right partner, that contracts are wisely negotiated, and that any IP licensing enjoys effective protection against infringement.

Types of licenses

To undertake effective licensing, it's important to understand the types of tools available. One of the best ways to obtain that information is by consulting with a skilled IP attorney. Three forms include:

  • Technology licensing
  • Trademark and/or franchise licensing
  • Copyright use agreements

Each of the forms seeks to extend protection over specific kinds of intellectual property. However, in practical application, the use of at least two or even all of the licenses are often incorporated into a single contract. This might be required to get the greatest return on the investment. The type of the relationship being created could also affect licensing needs. A merger and acquisition model will likely need different agreements compared to a joint venture.

A key factor is whether you are the licensor or the licensee. As a rights holder seeking to expand across international borders, you want to be certain that those rights are protected under the laws of the country you are entering. If intellectual property you seek to license from a foreign source isn't properly licensed in that country, you could lose the power to protect your right of use in this country against competitors here at home.

Whatever your business goals may be, it's clear that an assessment of all possible licensing needs is essential.

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