The transfer of rights to intellectual property can be an important source of revenue for businesses, most commonly through licenses and assignments. A licensing agreement typically gives the licensee a limited right to use certain intellectual property subject to the terms of the license. Because licenses are purely contractual relationships, it is essential that both parties to the transaction have a full understanding of the exact terms of the license.
An assignment is another channel by which someone may protect his/her work. An assignment constitutes a complete transfer of certain defined rights in the intellectual property to an assignee. While assignments are usually conceptually simpler than licenses, it is important to understand the scope of the intellectual property being transferred. Certain types of assignments, called “work-for-hire” agreements are also particularly important when a business engages an independent contractor, as many forms of intellectual property created by an independent contractor are not owned by the company without a written agreement.
We assist clients in negotiating and drafting license and assignment agreements, and our attorneys are available to apply experience and familiarity with license and assignments for clients seeking to enter into or enforce these agreements.