Finding Creative Solutions For Complex Intellectual Problems

Leveraging Licensing Agreements To Protect Your Right To Profit

Contemporary technology presents creators with a paradox: It is now incredibly easy to disseminate your intellectual property, but, across many industries, it is harder than ever to monetize that product. As an experienced entertainment law attorney, I appreciate the dilemmas that creative professionals face. It’s enormously frustrating to have your creative product stolen out from under you or to be told that signing your rights away will somehow be good for your career.

At Fergus, A Law Office, I understand that artists need to get paid. I have the knowledge, passion and sound judgment necessary to negotiate licensing agreements that protect your intellectual property rights and help you realize income that’s commensurate with the value of your creative work.

What Is A Licensing Agreement?

When you want to use someone else’s intellectual property (IP) – or someone else wishes to use yours – then you may need a licensing agreement. An agreement like this allows someone to capitalize on another person’s IP, which comes in handy if the IP in question makes a lot of sales or has a wide range of influence.

These agreements often require a lot of upfront work, along with a complex and costly process. But if you do not have one when you need one, you could end up facing serious repercussions.

If You Own The IP

Thus, Inc. explains licensing agreements in greater detail, as you should understand the situations in which you will need to go through the process for one. The first situation involves your own IP. If you own the IP in question, then you get to make a decision as to whether or not you need a licensing agreement. Without this agreement, you cannot make money off of other people’s works based on your IP. You also have no control over what other people can and cannot do with your IP.

Many IP creators do not care about this as long as other people are not making massive amounts of money off of their property, however. Also, it is difficult to monitor and control content creation in the age of the internet, so a licensing agreement may not do much anyway.

If You Do Not Own The IP

If you want to use someone else’s IP, then the decision rests in their hands alone. If you do not have an agreement when the IP holder requires one, they could sue you for infringement. Thus, it is generally better to get a licensing agreement especially if you want to do something with well-known IPs from large companies or want to do something large scale with your product.

Pre-eminent Representation From Technology To Entertainment

To negotiate a successful licensing agreement, your lawyer must understand the market for your intellectual property and the distribution channels through which it could potentially be monetized. My office in San Francisco, California, makes me perfectly situated to assist professionals in the high-tech field and the entertainment industry. Over the course of my practice, I’ve represented:

  • Authors
  • Artists
  • Celebrities
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Inventors
  • Musicians
  • Photographers
  • Software designers
  • Visual artists
  • Writers

Whether you’ve created a new algorithm for social networking, composed a song or written a novel or have marketing potential for your image and likeness, I can help you form beneficial agreements with industry professionals.

Refining Your Licensing Agreement

A licensing agreement can give you the satisfaction of sharing your work with other people, as well as the reassurance that you will receive proper credit. Because the protection of your idea hinges on this agreement, you will want to make sure it adequately addresses your requirements.

Knowing how to refine your agreement can help you avoid disappointment. An attorney can help you organize your thoughts and define your expectations.

Time Frame And Territory

You can address a host of different factors within your licensing agreement. Depending on what your agreement is for, you may require different terms than other creators. According to, one critical component of your agreement, regardless of its purpose, is to establish a time frame. Your timing requirements may address such topics including market release dates and contract renewal. You may also define the stipulations for contract validity and specify which conditions call for termination.

A licensing agreement can also determine territorial expectations including who has authorized rights to use your idea. Making arrangements regarding territory can help you control who has access to your ideas and when.

Exclusivity And Confidentiality

Other important topics you may address include exclusivity and confidentiality. Perhaps you wish to maintain exclusive rights to specific components while also granting permission to some users to enjoy exclusive access to other components. Similarly, you may have reservations about your idea’s use to protect sensitive information that has strategic value.

Establishing a licensing agreement can provide immediate and reliable protection. A legal professional can verify that your statement contains all of the information you need so you can freely enjoy the success of your hard work.

Quality Representation Can Level The Playing Field

As in the past, creators today must contend with unauthorized use and exploitative licensing agreements that are heavily one-sided — agreements that may leave the creator with a disadvantage. As your legal representative, my job is to help you balance the power. I have the knowledge and experience to structure a license to provide a fair royalty structure with appropriate contingencies and an accurate tracking mechanism.

Contact A Knowledgeable Lawyer

At Fergus, A Law Office, I have negotiated complex license agreements with vendors who started out as infringers, but who wanted to continue to use the work under a license agreement. Rather than continuing to litigate, I was able to negotiate a long-term contract with significant royalties, plus arrange to have the vendor prominently display the philanthropic work done by my client on its webpage. This is only one of a stream of licenses that I have negotiated on behalf of this client.

If you are serious about generating income from your intellectual property, you need a well-crafted license agreement. At Fergus, A Law Office, I have the experience to negotiate a sound agreement for your creative industry. To schedule an appointment, call me today at 866-256-5487 or contact my office online.