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The Basics on Intellectual Property Licensing

How much do you know about intellectual property licensing?

If you’ve invented a product or developed trade secrets such as a specialized marketing method or innovative software solution, you may need to navigate the complex world of IP licensing. You’ll certainly want an experienced business attorney to guide you along, but getting familiar ahead of time with the basics on licensing intellectual property rights is a good idea.

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What Is Intellectual Property Licensing?

If you own intangible property, including copyrighted works, patented inventions, trade secrets and trademark names or symbols, you can give others the right of use in exchange for an agreed-upon fee. This is what intellectual property licensing is all about.

Why Consider Licensing Your Intellectual Property?

As an IP rights owner, licensing can bring you an additional source of revenue. Also, IP licensing can boost your business growth, as the approach may make your property and brand more visible to a greater range of consumers.

How to Secure Your Intellectual Property Rights

If you’re approached by someone who wants to enter into an IP licensing agreement, your first step should be to contact an experienced business attorney. This area of law is quite complex, and an attorney with expertise in licensing IP rights will know how to protect your interests.

Drafting an IP licensing agreement is no easy task. You will need to consider several factors, including:

  • License scope — Do you want to limit the amount of time or the ways in which the licensee can use your property? You want to satisfy the licensee, but giving out permanent, unrestricted control may not be a smart strategy.
  • License fee — Do you prefer a one-time fee, paid for upon signing the IP licensing agreement? Or would you rather receive recurring royalties or monthly payments? An experienced business attorney can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option.
  • Licensee rights — Do you want the licensee to have the right to modify your property? Should they have access to source code, if any software is involved? If you’re not sure, a qualified business attorney can offer advice.

This is by no means a complete list. Your IP licensing agreement must also address confidentiality, indemnity for infringement, contract termination rights and a host of other equally important issues. To protect your rights and interests, you need to find an experienced business attorney — such as the professionals at The Franchise & Business Law Group.

Our award-winning legal team has decades of experience in IP law, and you can rely on us for expert guidance in achieving all your business goals. To learn more about The Franchise & Business Law Group, or to schedule a confidential business attorney consultation to discuss intellectual property licensing, contact our office in Salt Lake City, Utah, today.

A Utah Franchise Attorney’s Advice for Aspiring Franchisors

Working with an experienced franchise attorney is the best way for would-be franchisors to get practical and accurate information on business expansion. Entering the world of franchising offers several benefits, but the growth strategy also comes with many challenges — and new franchisors often make costly mistakes.

Before you consult with a franchise attorney, however, you have a few critical factors to consider.

Utah franchise and business law attorney

Consider Your Skills

Building a franchise system is different from building a business. The skills that have led to your success as a small-business owner may not be sufficient for success as a franchisor. Assess your skill set, and if you lack proficiency in any area necessary for franchising, think about hiring others to help fill the gaps.

Know Your Concept

What is it about your business that sets you apart from the competition? You need to identify your “secret sauce” and understand why you’ve been successful before becoming a franchisor, as you’ll need to clearly communicate the concept to your franchisees.

Crunch the Numbers

Write up a business plan for your franchise system and complete a proper cash-flow analysis to see if becoming a franchisor makes good financial sense. As any experienced franchise attorney will tell you, you don’t want to be in franchising if you or your franchisees will find it difficult to make a profit.

Choose Franchisees Wisely

Be cautious in selecting your first franchisees. Many new franchisors are tempted to accept marginally qualified candidates, but that can lead to problems. And besides, your very first franchisees set the course for your franchise system, so you should thoroughly vet each applicant to make sure they have what it takes to be a success.

Be Prepared for Growth

Small-business owners often want to grow quickly and award multiple franchises at the start. However, rapid expansion can lead to franchisee failure. To help prevent this, make sure you have the capital and personnel in place to support any new franchisees you take on.

If you think franchising is the right expansion strategy for your business, finding an experienced franchise attorney — one who fights for the rights of franchisors, rather than working with franchisees — can help you avoid potential pitfalls and enjoy success as a new franchisor.

For forward-thinking advice and expert answers to all your questions about franchising, turn to the award-winning legal team at the Franchise & Business Law Group. Our franchise attorneys have decades of experience working with franchisors, and we can guide the development of your franchise system and assist you in achieving your business expansion goals.

To discuss your plans to become a franchisor, contact the Franchise & Business Law Group in Salt Lake City, Utah, and schedule a franchise attorney consultation today.