Intellectual Property (IP) Licensing is an important issue facing all technology based companies in our technology ace. As a result of huge investment in innovation, companies have created a large, diverse portfolio of intellectual property (IP) that is now available for licensing in the market. This portfolio includes source code, schemas, protocols, and documentation as well as associated copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets. Their policy is to license this IP under commercially reasonable, affordable and nondiscriminatory terms.
It is a license agreement where the IP owner (the licensor) gives permission to a licensee to commercialize that intellectual property, which may extend to all aspects of commercialization i.e. developing a product and marketing, selling and distribution of the product developed.
IP Licensing is not a straightforward process and this usually involves a number of important steps and issue facing all technology based companies. Issues to be considered while licensing of technology are mentioned below-
- Who is the owner of that Intellectual Property (IP)?
- Whether that IP satisfy the feasibility test?
- Whether licensable subject matter can be obtained and identifiable from that IP?
- Whether a licensing strategy can be developed to license that IP?
- Whether there is any market demand pool assessment done and if it is done then what is the scenario?
Now, Technology Transfer is done through the licensing agreement between the licensor and licensee. This licensing agreement may be a non-exclusive or exclusive.
Non-exclusive license is the license granted to the licensee where, the license is revocable, non-transferable and granted for a limited period of time as per the stipulation made in the contract agreement. In a same time the licensor can grant a number of non-exclusive licenses to a number of licensees. The terms and conditions of the different non-exclusive license between the licensor and several individual licensee may be different and that is also depends upon the consensus of the parties.
In the other hand exclusive license is granted for the life time of the subject matter of the license. Exclusive license is not revocable, non-transferable and a licensor can not grant an exclusive license to several licensee at a same time i.e. in case of exclusive license the licensee have the right to exclude others (including the owner of that IP) from using, manufacturing, marketing, selling and distributing of the product developed from that IP.