How do I sell my intellectual property?

Written by Katie Moruzzi | September 5, 2022

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) right are great assets for every business, whether it’s trade marks, patents, copyright, design rights or even trade secrets. The most obvious way to harness your IP is to simply use it in your business as this can add value to and help you grow your business. For example, if you design a new product and protect it with design rights then you will likely want to retail that product, or if you file a trade mark, then it makes sense to use it on your website and your products.

However, it’s not the only way that you can gain revenue from your IP.

Sell it

One way to commercialise your IP is to assign (sell) all or part of it to a third party and like any sale, this usually comes with a fee. The amount you receive will depend on the value of the IP itself and so it’s crucial to ensure the IP is valued by an expert in your particular field.

Assigning your IP to another party has to be done by way of ‘assignment’ and will mean that the assignee (purchaser) takes on ownership of the IP and all the rights to deal with the IP that come with it. You may choose to sell your IP as soon as its created or, after your business has time to add sufficient value to it by marketing it, licensing it or retailing it.

License it

Another way to commercialise your IP is to licence it to one or more third parties. The money you receive for the licence could be, for example, a one-off sum at the outset of the license, royalties on the licensee’s use of the IP or a combination of both.

Licensing is a little more complicated than assigning your IP as it entails an ongoing relationship between yourself and the licensee and will be determined by a number of varying factors. For example, is the licence exclusive (only the licencee can use the IP and no-one else) or are you licencing it to a number of third parties? How long will the licence last? Who deals with disputes regarding the IP? How does the agreement come to an end if either party no longer wants to licence it?

In order to ensure you’re getting the most out of your IP, its important to draft a clear and thorough licence agreement, carefully drafted so that both parties understand the parameters of the licence and how they can use the IP.

Need some advice?

If you have some IP that you’re keen to commercialise or if you would like us to assist with drafting the assignment or licence documents, then please let us know and one of our experts will be on hand to help.

Written by Katie Moruzzi, Solicitor

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