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What is intellectual property licensing?

On Behalf of | Sep 8, 2022 | Intellectual Property

If you legally own intellectual property, licensing may be a great way to grow your brand and business. By licensing your trademark or copyright to a third party, you grant them the right to use your intellectual property while still maintaining ownership rights.

What is included in a licensing agreement?

Not all licensing agreements are created the same. As you create your licensing agreement, consider the following factors:


You should address who has the right to use your intellectual property. You generally must decide whether you want to exclusively or nonexclusively license your work.

  • Exclusive: As licensor, you are giving the purchaser the sole right to use your intellectual property for a specified amount of time.
  • Nonexclusive: As licensor, you will grant a third party, or licensee, the right to use your intellectual property, but you will continue to have the right to use your own property and issue licenses to other parties.

Time and usage

As licensor, you may include terms in the agreement restricting the use of the licensed work and addressing quality control. You may require the licensee to perform checks to make sure that it is being used appropriately. You may also include provisions addressing how long the agreement will last, as well as the option to renew and terminate.


Through sub-licensing, you can give the licensee the right to allow another party to use the licensed work. You may also include other agreements within your licensing agreement, such as a nondisclosure agreement to protect private information.


 You should address how the licensee will pay you for the use of your work. You may include provisions addressing minimum payments, royalties, and other financial aspects of the deal.

Drafting a licensing agreement without the help of an experienced attorney can be challenging. A New York attorney specializing in intellectual property can make sure your agreement protects your rights and serves your best interests.