What is a license? In a nutshell, it is a promise not to sue. For example, the fictitious 007 British spy had a “license to kill.” In essence, this was a promise from the British government not to prosecute 007 for the many murders he committed provided he continue to save civilization from world domination by various evil-doers.
In the realm of intellectual property there are several licenses of particular interest that our firm sees with great frequency, patent license, trademark licenses and software licenses.
Intellectual property licensing arises in various circumstances. A license may be granted to a company seeking to manufacture a novel product developed by an inventor. Two companies settling a software copyright infringement litigation may agree upon a software license so there is no disruption in the defendant’s product availability. A trademark license may be granted to permit another company to use a mark provided the underlying product is of a certain quality and consistency.