Intellectual property rights like trademark, copyright and patent rights are shared through formal license agreements. License agreements protect both the IP owner (the licensor) and the licensee by accurately spelling out the scope of the license, each party’s respective obligations, and the process for systematically concluding the business relationship upon expiration or termination of the license. The agreement should explicitly describe the limitations on the license, such as whether it is exclusive or nonexclusive, and care must be taken to avoid conflicting terms among multiple license agreements of the same IP.
Intellectual property owners should consistently use written license agreements whenever any rights are granted to a third party, even if the rights are shared for no payment. Owners must consistently exercise strict control over their rights to avoid losing them.