As an inventor or business owner, increasing profits is crucial for your success. One way to do this is through licensing your patented technology and brands. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to licensing, including what it is, why it is important, and the steps involved in the process.
What is patent licensing?
Patent licensing is where a patent owner would allow others to incorporate the patented technology into the products and services of others. For a royalty fee, of course. You might be wondering why any would want to allow others to compete against them. The beautiful part about patent licensing is that it relieves you from having to manufacture and sell products. You don’t need an entire infrastructure to make money. The licensee will pay you a royalty fee.
Also, when you license your patented technology, you could do so outside of your business area. Many technologies can be applied to other fields of use. For example, automotive windshield protectors could also be used to protect surgeons during surgery. Patents for automotive windshield protectors could be licensed to a medical supplier for a royalty rate. This stream of income would be available based on the infrastructure of the medical supplier. The patent owner didn’t have to spend energy doing so.
What is trademark licensing?
Trademark licensing is where a trademark owner allows others to use their brands. It could be in the context of a co-branding venture. For example, if they incorporate your branded technology into their products, you could require that they display your brand on their products.
Trademark licensing is a way for you to increase public exposure to your brands.
Patent and trademark licensing isn’t easy to secure
Let’s be honest here. Everyone would like to strike an easy patent or trademark license deal. You’ve seen them on TV and heard many stories. However, securing a patent and trademark license deal isn’t easy. You have to prove to the licensor that it’s easier for them to pay you a royalty than implement a design around. That is sometimes very hard to do.
Typically, to secure a licensing deal, the inventor has to do more than just have an idea. The further along your manufacturing, the more likely it is that you would be able to secure a licensing deal. If you are manufacturing and selling your product, then you are showing market demand for your idea. Prospective licensees can see that they are paying a royalty fee, not just for your idea but one that market demand. The further along the business development cycle you can take the idea, the greater the likelihood of securing a licensing deal.
Moreover, not all license deals are good. Some drain the resources of the licensor and can shift a substantial amount of risk to the licensor. Others can trap the licensor with a particular licensee. To avoid these types of problematic situations, safeguards are placed in the license agreements. These include performance milestones which allow the licensor to terminate the license if the licensee is not meeting their commitments.
Working with Clients Throughout Orange County & Beyond
Because we are located in Irvine, many of our patent-enforcement clients live or work in Orange County communities like Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, and Santa Ana. But we also work with clients in surrounding areas, like the San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles County, and elsewhere in Southern California.