zondag 3 januari 2016

Patent tip: Split your license agreement!

In order to be able to use a license against infringement, it must be registered in the relevant patent registers. However, it is not sensible to register a license to the full extend, including all commercially relevant information. Competitors and clients do look up license agreements and they do study in detail any commercially relevant stuff. Stuff that might erode your selling prices, selling volumes and other competitive advantages.

A way to deal with this to have the license agreement split up in two parts, the first part for registration and the second part that provides the commercial aspects of the license deal (such as number of units, licensing royalties, mutual obligations, mutual guaranties and so on). The first part must bear the full details on the parties, and obviously the signatures of those entitled to sign on behalf of the parties. The second part will not be registered and serves for the licensing parties as proof of the deal made in all its details. Splitting up the license agreement will avoid a lot of trouble!

If it is technically not possible to split the agreement, at least black out all commercially relevant data before registration!

I wish you all a healthy and successful 2016, and of course happy inventing!

Hendrik de Lange
Dutch and European patent attorney

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