What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property refers to original creative works of the mind or intellect and includes:

  • Inventions
  • Literary and artistic works
  • Symbols, names and images used in commerce

Intellectual Property Rights

The term “intellectual property rights” refers to the legal rights granted with the aim to protect the original creative works of the mind or intellect.

These rights include:

  • Industrial Property such as patents, industrial designs and trademarks
  • Copyright – the right of the author or creator
  • Related Rights – rights of the performers, producers and broadcasting organisations.

Making Money from Intellectual Property

Intellectual property rights provides owners with the opportunity to commercialise their intellectual property or original creative work of the mind for their benefit.

A common strategy to commercialise intellectual property is through the process of licensing.

What does Licensing mean?

Licensing allows the intellectual property owner to give a licensee the right to use (but not own) the copyright, patent, trade mark, design, technology, technical knowledge or process, for their economic benefit (profit).

Licensees can use the intellectual property right for which they have obtained a license for the following:

  • A defined purpose
  • Within a defined territory
  • An agreed period of time.

The licensee isn’t paying for a product since they have not bought the intellectual property right and there has been no transfer of ownership. They are paying for access to exclusive legal use of the intellectual property protected by the right conferred upon it.

Types of licences

Owners of intellectual property rights can seek to offer a number of licences to potential licensees including:

  • An exclusive licence
  • A sole licence
  • A non-exclusive licence.

Variations on these basic licence alternatives include:

  • A know-how licence
  • A software licence
  • A cross licence
  • A trade mark licence.

Licensing arrangements are common for copyright, patents, design and trademarks, but any type of intellectual property can be licensed.

Internet Law can assist you to find the right lawyer to:

  • Explain your rights.
  • Advise you on the best commercialisation strategy for your intellectual property.
  • Help you determine the most appropriate license.
  • Ensure that your rights are protected.

Contact us with your enquiry today!