Developing the right type of licensing team is one of the secrets to a successfully licensing your IP. These professionals help you develop, negotiate and manage your licensing program. Depending on your IP, the licensing team will include a licensing agent, an accountant, an attorney, and perhaps a public relations consultant and a graphics design firm.
It’s important your attorney and licensing agent work together and understand each other’s role. An attorney reviews documents and provides basic advice on the IP rights. A licensing agent will typically focus on finding licenses and negotiating the deals.
Here are some tips on how to work with your IP attorney and licensing agent:
- Basic questions about licensing terms or royalty rates are best answered by the agent.
- The agent should have a form agreement that he uses as the starting point in any negotiation.
- Before the agent offers a licensing agreement to any potential licensees, the attorney reviews it to make sure that it represents the licensor’s interests.
- If a licensee provides their own licensing agreement, the agent should do the negotiating and then have the attorney review the final document before signing off on it.
- Once the licensing agreement is signed, the agent should manage the licensee, from providing information about the IP to collecting royalty payments.
- If a licensee has breached the license agreement in a minor way, such as by making a royalty payment ten days late, the agent handle it.
- If licensee stops performing or doesn’t correct a minor breach,the attorney determines the options available and guidance on how to resolve the issues.
The bigger your licensing business, the more important it is to manage the team effectively. Using that team efficiently helps you reduce their costs and maximize your money-making opportunities.
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Rand Brenner is an IP professional whose passion is helping inventors, startups, and businesses of all sizes use licensing to turn their IP into income-producing products, services, and technologies. His decades of experience run the gamut from medical devices to food technology to consumer products. He’s licensed some of the biggest Hollywood entertainment blockbusters including the Batman Movies (1 and 2), and the number one kid’s action TV show, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Rand speaks about licensing and is a featured speaker at investment conferences, trade shows, colleges, and startup events. He’s a published writer with articles appearing in several prestigious trade magazine including The Licensing Journal, Intellectual Property Magazine, and License India. Rand also mentors at the Cal State Fullerton School of Business and Economics and is a judge for their startup business plan competitions.