Licensing intellectual property rights
Produced in partnership with Adam Coughlin of Bristows and Claire Smith of Bristows
Licensing intellectual property rights

The following IP practice note produced in partnership with Adam Coughlin of Bristows and Claire Smith of Bristows provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Licensing intellectual property rights
  • Licensing IP rights—introduction
  • Jurisdictional scope of this Practice Note
  • Brexit
  • Legislative framework
  • Licensing IP rights—key considerations
  • Ownership (including co-ownership)
  • Types of licence—exclusive, sole, non-exclusive?
  • Formalities
  • IP licences—key terms and points to consider
  • More...

Licensing IP rights—introduction

Drafting IP licences can raise a number of commercial and legal issues, which are often complex and lead to much negotiation. This Practice Note focuses on the key practical points you should consider prior to drafting and during the negotiation of an IP licence (from both a licensor’s and a licensee’s perspective).

Fundamentally, an IP licence is the granting of permission, by a licensor to a licensee, to use IP which the licensee would otherwise be prevented from using.

IP can be used and monetised by its owner in the form of either ‘a carrot or a stick’. Parties may negotiate the terms of a mutually beneficial IP licence, for example to develop new products or penetrate new markets. Conversely, an IP owner may use its IP more defensively and seek to impose settlement licences on, and ultimately receive settlement fees from, those parties already using its IP without the owner’s consent. Therefore, the starting point, and the wider commercial realities, will significantly shape the negotiation and terms of an IP licence.

For examples of IP licences, see Precedents:

  1. Patent licence—pro-licensor

  2. Patent licence—pro-licensee

  3. Copyright licence—pro-licensor

  4. Copyright licence—pro-licensee

  5. Design licence—pro-licensor

  6. Design licence—pro-licensee

  7. Trade mark licence—pro-licensor

  8. Trade mark licence—pro-licensee

For further information about licensing various IP rights, see Practice Notes:

  1. Patent assignment and licensing

  2. Copyright assignment and licensing

  3. Design assignment and licensing

  4. Trade mark assignment and licensing

  5. Selling

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