Developing the right type of licensing teams is one of the secrets to 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 others 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 agreement 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 cut their costs and maximize your money-making opportunities.
If you’re not familiar with the licensing process or you doesn’t want to manage your own licensing program, then a licensing agent is right for you. Although an agent adds to the cost of a licensing program, they bring experience, know-how and resources.
Rand Brenner is President / CEO of Licensing Consulting Group, an intellectual property management and licensing company specializing in assisting clients in IP Management, Strategic Consulting, Acquisition of Licensing Rights, and Property Representation. Rand has licensed some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters, including “Batman” and the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”, both of which generated billions of dollars in worldwide merchandise sales. He has lead various international licensing programs as both licensee and licensor, and through consulting projects focused on licensing strategy, brand development, sponsorship sales and property representation.