One business opportunity for IP owners is to license out to others the right to use their patents, designs or trademarks.

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There are many commercial reasons that may underlie a license agreement. One obvious reason is to make money through a royalty arrangement. License agreements are also often included in more complex cooperation agreements, where one party wishes to retain the right on its own, and at the same time wishes that a partner can exercise the right under specified conditions. In other cases, a license agreement may be entered into as part of maintaining a trademark registration that is subject to the obligation to use, but where the owner of the right does not necessarily want or can use his own mark.

There is freedom of contract when entering into license agreements, so that the content and scope of the agreement is regulated in each case between the parties. We typically distinguish between

  • Exclusive agreements give the licensee the exclusive right to use the right in question.
  • Non-exclusive licenses mean that the licensee can enter into agreements with several licensees on the same right.

License agreements may result in the licensee being granted rights and obligations under the IPR legislation, which must be kept in mind when entering into such agreements.

Legal assistance is needed to prepare good licensing agreements. Contact one of our experienced lawyers.