The experienced trademark lawyers at Gehres Law Library provide advice on protecting your trademark through registration and litigation if your trademark rights are violated. We can also assist you in making decisions about whether to license your trademark and can negotiate licensing agreements on your behalf.
Should You License your Trademark?
Licensing your trademark is a viable option to produce revenue from your protected intellectual property. When you license a trademark, you give another entity legal authority to use your trademark for specific purposes while still retaining ownership.
There are pros and cons of licensing a trademark. Benefits include:
- Revenue from the licensing agreement: You can negotiate an appropriate payment arrangement to receive ongoing royalty fees from companies and individuals to whom you have granted permission to use your trademark.
- Brand awareness: Licensing your trademark allows you to develop a further awareness of your brand as the licensee uses your trademark on goods it sells or in providing services.
- Retaining ownership: As an alternative to selling your trademark, licensing makes it possible for you to retain your ownership interest while allowing other entities to utilize the mark. You can receive an ongoing source of income, rather than a one-time payment, and do not risk your brand’s value being destroyed or diminished by an irresponsible buyer since licensing gives you continued control.
There are downsides to licensing a trademark as well. When a trademark is sold, you are guaranteed a set payment amount. However, revenues from royalties associated with licensing your trademark can be more uncertain. Licensing a trademark also means you do give up a degree of control over how your trademark is used and perceived, although you give up far less control than if your trademark was sold.
While you can minimize risks of damage to your trademark through a carefully-negotiated licensing contract, licensing still involves placing some degree of trust in the licensee to avoid creating substandard products or provide low-quality services that could cause damage to the perception of your trademark in the marketplace.
The law aims to protect those who purchase branded products by ensuring that intellectual property owners who license trademarks retain control over the nature of goods and services displaying the licensed marks. This also imposes ongoing obligations on you, as the trademark owner, to actively monitor the use of your mark. At the same time, it is important to avoid excessive control over the licensed mark because this could result in your agreement being interpreted as a franchising agreement, which would mean that you become subject to franchising laws and additional liability.
Trademark licensing agreements should be recorded with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office following execution. Such contracts should be clearly written with the rights of the licensee defined to ensure the trademark owner’s rights are protected. Click here for more information on licensing your trademark.
Getting Help from A Trademark Lawyer
The trademark lawyers at Gehres Law Library provide expertise to many organizations of all sizes in San Diego County and surrounding areas. Find out more about our knowledgeable legal team and how we can assist you with all legal issues related to your trademark registration, licensing and other intellectual property rights by calling 858-964-2314 or contact us online today.