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.