Intellectual Property Lawyers London
“The firm has a very good reputation and is regarded as a serious player in intellectual property matters”
In the modern world where intellectual property can be worth more than the businesses they represent, it is vital for the success of any business the ability to protect their intellectual property and extract maximum value from it.
At the cutting edge of intellectual property law developments, we can provide innovative advice across the full range including Trademarks, Copyright, Designs and Confidential Information.
Our clients range from large multi-national enterprises, to SMEs, charities, individuals and entrepreneurs. We provide a full service from the acquisition, exploitation and protection of intellectual property, through to its commercial use and the handling of infringement and other contentious issues.
We also have a thriving corporate and commercial department which assists clients with a variety of matters often associated with non-contentious IP transactions, including preparing and negotiating a wide range of commercial contracts and agreements.
Why we are different
Our lawyers are renowed for their different approach to all matters. We provide a complete range of services with experienced specialists in all aspects of IP helping our clients create, exploit and protect intellectual property throughout the whole life of a brand.
Due to our trusted network of advisors in other countries, we are strategically placed to register and monitor trade marks anywhere in the world. We also ensure that all rights are fully protected and commercially exploited at all times. Where we detect an infringement, we work swiftly to stop the breach.
We regularly provide expert legal advice on the following issues:
- Copyright infringements
- Trade marks
- Passing off disputes
- Database rights
- Design rights
- Licensing and franchising
- Trade secrets and know-how
- Image rights and endorsements
- Non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements
Intellectual Property & Licensing Agreements
Operating in the commercial world is demanding. Businesses are under increasing pressure to develop new products and processes in order to maintain their market position. One of the best ways to maximise the benefit to businesses that have invested heavily in developing their products, and the intellectual property in them, is to licence their use to other businesses. Businesses that licence IP are described as a ‘licensor’, and the business that is given a licence to use IP is known as the ‘licensee’.
The licensing of IP rights essentially allows another business to make use of certain rights for a specified period of time. There are significant benefits to be enjoyed from taking the decision to licence IP, including:
Lessening the burden of costs and risk – where a business decides to licence the right to manufacture goods or to sell them, it will be entitled to revenue from the licensee in exchange for allowing another it to use the IP. This also means that the licensor does not need to worry about the cost of creating, distributing and selling the goods that are the subject of the licence.
Market access – the licensor may ultimately be able to introduce its products into different geographical markets, which it would otherwise be unable to do. This is often the case where businesses have the ambition to introduce their products to international markets, but lack the finances to do so.
Improving standards – businesses may choose to work together through the licensing of IP in order to improve on current products, allowing for the sharing of expertise and pooling of resources.
It should be borne in mind, however, that a licence to use IP is an important asset, and a Licensing Agreement should be carefully negotiated and drafted in order to ensure that its use reflects the circumstances and intentions of the parties. Negotiating a licence can be a demanding process as there are a lot of different considerations to be decided upon. Some of the most common issues that need to be determined in the body of a licence agreement include:
The scope of the Licensing Agreement
Licensors and licensees must be very clear about how licences for IP are to be used. Licensors should make it a priority that their wishes for the scope of the licence are made very clear at the outset of negotiations. There are three kinds of IP Licensing Agreement:
Exclusive – only the business that is granted a licence for the use of the IP may do so. This prevents the licensor, the business granting the licence, from using the IP for the duration of the licence agreement.
Sole – this is less restrictive than exclusive agreements, in that it will entitle both the IP owner (the licensor) and the licensee to use the IP.
Non-exclusive – as the least restrictive type of licence agreement, non-exclusive agreements allow licensors to use the IP, and to create more than one licence so multiple businesses can use the same IP at any one time.
Duration and termination of a Licensing Agreement
There needs to be some consideration to the length of time that a licence will exist, and when (and how) the licence will be brought to an end. This will involve a great deal of thought. Licensors may wish to insist on certain targets being met in order for the licensee to retain the licence after a certain period, or may require that certain other conditions are met. Furthermore, there should be a timeframe agreed on the length of the licence, subject to a renegotiation or appraisal of the success of the agreement pending renewal.
Hudson McKenzie is routinely involved in the negotiation and drafting of Licensing Agreements for businesses operating across a wide range of sectors. We also have expertise in organising the creation of Licence Agreements that will provide for products to enter new markets. Our team are here to help clients exploit their IP, with a view to protecting the business’s investment in time and money. To find out more about how we can help you, speak to our solicitors today.
Contact our Intellectual Property & Licensing Agreement Solicitors London, UK
For further information, please contact our Intellectual Property & Licensing Agreements lawyers in London – click here or call us on +44 (0)20 3318 5794.