Intellectual Property Assignments Agreements and Licenses

Intellectual property is on par with tangible assets in terms of value. Some companies even exclusively make money through their intellectual property rights. It is important to protect your company’s intellectual property through copyrights, trademarks, and patents.

Once you have secured the intellectual property rights, you may draw up intellectual property rights to allow other companies to use them in exchange for a fee. These documents regulate the use of the intellectual property and should be negotiated with the help of a lawyer to protect your business interests. Nakase Wade can assist you with drafting and negotiating these contracts to ensure they are profitable for your company.

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What is an Assignment Agreement?

An assignment agreement permanently transfers intellectual property rights to another party. The transaction happens in the same way as the sale of physical property. By transferring the rights to intellectual property, you will relinquish all claim, involvement, and control to the intellectual property rights.

What is an Intellectual Property Licensing Agreement?

In an IP licensing agreement, your company still owns the intellectual property, but you allow another party to temporarily use the IP rights. The permission to use the intellectual property is specified by a contract. This will regulate the fee for use, the term, and how the IP may be used.

The most common intellectual property licensing agreements are:

  • Exclusive License – You will only allow the licensing party use of the intellectual property and will not use the intellectual property yourself.
  • Sole License – You can use the rights yourself, but you will allow no other party to use the intellectual property.
  • Non-Exclusive Licence – You can give intellectual property rights but may also grant rights to other parties and use them yourself.

The type of agreement may be negotiated, and may even be a combination of any of the above.

Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement vs. Intellectual Property License

There are pros and cons for each type of agreement,s and which one you choose will depend on your business interests and needs. Often, intellectual property holders want to hold onto their intellectual property, but other agreements may be more profitable.

Licensing allows you to make a stream of profit over a certain period. Agreements, on the other hand, means you are no longer liable for maintenance or sued because of issues related to the intellectual property.

Frequently Asked Questions

Exclusive license vs assignment agreement

Both assignment agreements and exclusive licenses give another party control of the intellectual property in exchange for money. However, the license can be limited to a term of exclusive use. An assignment is permanent, the rights will be transferred to that party permanently.

What is an implied license?

An implied intellectual property license is where the conduct of the IP owner suggests they intended to license the rights to the other party. This can happen if the wording of contracts and agreements are ambiguous.