Licensing is not a legal process. Nor is it a legal agreement. While legal is an important part of licensing, it’s not what licensing is about.
Licensing is a process for managing and making money with your intellectual property. Most often, it’s in the form of a licensing agreement with another company. It creates a partnership between you, the IP owner, and a company with the money, manpower and resources to get your IP into the market.
What no one tells you about licensing is how the process works – what to do, when to do it and how to do it. In fact, the majority of inventors, business owners, startups and operating companies don’t really understand it.
Credible sources for learning how to do licensing the right way are far and few between. Not even the top universities and colleges in the world teach courses on how to manage and make money with IP. Most courses are on the legal side. So is most of the information you read and hear about in the media.
That’s why there’s confusion between a license and licensing. A license is a legal agreement. It’s a legal document that details all the terms for allowing someone to use your IP in return for paying you money (otherwise known as royalties). A license agreement is just part of the licensing process.
Licensing is a process that involves a way of doing things to turn your IP into money-making products, services and technologies. At its most basic level, it involves proving your IP works, and then finding a partner to license it. Of course, there are many steps in between and these are often the ones no one tells you about. And that’s where most people trip up when it comes to licensing. They don’t understand the steps involved in the licensing process.
Understanding the right steps in the process is the foundation of licensing. It’s a sequence of activities you must do. It includes protecting your IP, building and testing it, identifying the solution it provides or problem it solves, determining what it costs to make and sell, figuring out who the customers are, finding a licensing partner, delivering a presentation, negotiating the deal terms and signing a licensing agreement.
Learning the key steps is only part of the process. Inside each of these steps are all sorts of activities and tasks (such as the registration procedures to protect your IP) that are necessary to succeed with licensing. Overlook any of these tasks (such as not doing due diligence on your licensing partner), and you can wind up frustrated, confused, or worse, facing legal action over your IP rights.
My goal is to help you learn and develop the skills to do the licensing process the right way. Licensing is a big subject, and because the information is not easy to come by, it can be confusing. That’s why I created all sorts of learning materials, from free e-courses, webinars and special reports, to paid audio and video training courses. But that’s all changing. You won’t find any of these offered publicly on the Licensing4Profits website any longer.
Instead, I’m shifting the business model to offer these learning resources only to my loyal newsletter subscribers. There is also a library of new video and audio training courses that I never offered for sale. I’m updating them in new formats so the information is easier to consume and put into action right away. Of course, the blog will still be open and available providing lots of real world how-to articles on intellectual property and licensing.
If you’re not a subscriber yet, why not sign up today. It’s free, and you’ll get updates on the latest blog articles, plus special offers about free e-courses, webinars, videos, new licensing training products, and other great information and resources.
Remember, licensing is a process. While it’s not a complex process, it does require understanding what it is and how it works. Licensing is quickly being recognized as one of the best ways to make money with IP. But you can only succeed in licensing if you get the right information and advice. After all, if no one shows you how tells you about licensing works, how will you know what to do to make money with your IP?
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Rand Brenner is an IP professional whose passion is helping inventors, startups, and businesses of all sizes use licensing to turn their IP into income-producing products, services, and technologies. His decades of experience run the gamut from medical devices to food technology to consumer products. He’s licensed some of the biggest Hollywood entertainment blockbusters including the Batman Movies (1 and 2), and the number one kid’s action TV show, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Rand speaks about licensing and is a featured speaker at investment conferences, trade shows, colleges and startup events. He’s a published writer with articles appearing in several prestigious trade magazine including The Licensing Journal, Intellectual Property Magazine, and License India. Rand also mentors at the Cal State Fullerton School of Business and Economics and is a judge for their startup business plan competitions.