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Legal Considerations for Licensing your Intellectual Property

Licensing is a very common practice, especially in fashion and arts, that allows you to maximize the use of your intellectual property. Licensing can be very successful and lucrative if done properly.

Whether you are an illustrator, a fashion brand or a band with a well-established brand, if you are considering licensing as your next business step, keep reading.

Of course, please take this as legal information and not legal advice. If you have any questions regarding licensing or if you need us to assist you in the process of licensing your brand, send us an email at info@artylaw.ca.

 

What is licensing?

Licensing is an agreement where the owner of a copyright, trademark or other type of intellectual property allows another company to manufacture products using this intellectual property. For instance, many fashion houses license their trademarks to businesses that manufacture accessories instead of making them in-house.

 

What are the benefits of licensing?

Benefitting from someone else’s expertise: developing the skills to tap into an unknown market can be very costly and does not necessarily guarantee success in the long run. Licensing allows specialized businesses to take care of the technical aspects of product manufacturing without having to invest massive amounts of capital.

Brand expansion: this is one of the more obvious benefits of licensing. By associating your brand with new products, you are not only expanding your offer on the market but also stretching your brand (if it can be stretched, of course), which can eventually lead customers to associating your brands with more categories in a specific industry.

Delegating formalities: Tapping into new markets often involves a significant amount of new regulations to be aware of as well logistic concerns. By licensing your brand, you are letting companies who are aware of these elements take care of all the formalities.

 

What should I keep in mind when looking to license my brand?

 Get it in writing: we cannot repeat this enough. Always make sure all your business agreements are in writing.

 Keep control over your brand: licensing should be time and territory limited. You should also be careful not to license to too many people at once. You do not want to dilute your brand in any way.

 Protect your intellectual property: this is particularly important if you plan on licensing a trademark or a patent. Make sure they are registered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office before licensing them to anyone.

 Quality control: you do not want to associate yourself with poorly made products. You should therefore choose your manufacturers well and keep an eye on the items that are being made.

Licensing is an important step for a brand. You should therefore seek legal counsel whether to draft a licensing agreement, to review one or simply for some legal advice. Do not hesitate to send us an email at info@artylaw.ca or click here to schedule a consultation.

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