Licensing a patent involves granting someone else the right to use your patented technology in exchange for payment. They provide a mechanism for companies to collaborate, maximize the commercial potential of their inventions, and accelerate the pace of technological advancement.
But have you ever wondered why we need patent licensing? Why can't we just keep our inventions safe with us as trade secrets? And how do we license-out our patents?
Why do you need patent licenses?
To Commercialize Patented Technology
A patent gives its owner the exclusive right to use and commercialize an invention for a certain period, typically 20 years from the filing date of the patent application. Patent licenses allow other parties to use the patented technology in exchange for payment, which can help the patent owner to monetize their invention and maximize its commercial potential.
To Share Technology
Patents are often complex, and it may be challenging for a single company to develop and commercialize a new technology on its own. Patent licenses allow companies to collaborate and share technology, which can result in more rapid development and commercialization of new products and services.
To Avoid Litigations
Patent licenses can be used to avoid costly litigation. If a company is found to be infringing on someone else's patent, they may be liable for damages and face an injunction preventing them from using the technology. By obtaining a license, the company can avoid infringing on the patent and potentially facing legal action.
To Enter New Markets
Patent licenses can be used to enter new markets. For example, a company may want to enter a foreign market where a particular patent is necessary to operate. By obtaining a license, the company can legally use the patented technology and enter the new market.
To Access Necessary Technology
Patented technology is often essential for the development of new products and services. Patent licenses allow companies to access the technology they need to innovate and develop new products, without having to invest in expensive research and development themselves.
Once you have understood why patent licensing is necessary, it is ubiquitous to ask how do we license our patents? Although it is a general fact that the chances of licensing-out a patent is very less due to various reasons, it is imperative to understand the process of licensing so that future patents can be claimed accordingly to squeeze out maximum ROI (return on investment).
How to license your patent?
Determine Your Licensing Goals
Before you begin the licensing process, it's essential to determine your goals for the license. Consider what rights you want to grant, the scope of the license, the market or industry you want to target, and the payment terms.
Conduct Market Research
Conduct market research to identify potential licensees. Look for companies that may be interested in using your technology or that are currently using similar technology in the same industry or market.
Prepare a Licensing Agreement
A licensing agreement is a legal document that outlines the terms of the license, including the rights granted, the payment terms, and any restrictions or limitations. You can hire a lawyer specializing in patent licensing to prepare the agreement for you or use online templates as a starting point.
Negotiate the Terms
Negotiate the terms of the licensing agreement with the potential licensee. This can include the scope of the license, payment terms, and any other terms or conditions.
Sign the Agreement
Once you and the licensee have agreed on the terms of the license, sign the licensing agreement. This legally binds both parties to the terms of the agreement.
Enforce the License
Monitor the use of your technology by the licensee to ensure they are complying with the terms of the license. If the licensee violates the terms of the license, you may need to take legal action to enforce your rights. It's essential to work with a patent attorney or licensing professional throughout the licensing process to ensure that you're taking the necessary steps to protect your rights and maximize the value of your patent.
Patent licenses are necessary to enable the commercialization and sharing of patented technology, to avoid litigation, to enter new markets, and to access essential technology needed for innovation. They provide a mechanism for companies to collaborate, maximize the commercial potential of their inventions, and accelerate the pace of technological advancement. The various types of patent licenses provide a range of options for companies looking to license technology, from exclusive licenses that provide complete control over the technology to non-exclusive licenses that allow for more widespread use. Understanding the different types of patent licenses and their uses is essential for anyone involved in the world of intellectual property.
If you need a patent licensing expert who not only understands the technology, industry, and your specific needs, but also stay with you on each step during monetization process and make sure you get the results crucial for your win, then you are at the right place. Our experts, at Boolean IP, have a total experience of conducting 100+ successful patent infringement assignments. Clubbing the experience and expertise of our techno-legal experts, and AI-powered tools, Boolean IP provides high quality IP solutions that help you win. Get in touch with your queries.