IP Licensing Agreements as They Relate to Specific Forms of IP

IP licenses are also conditioned by the particular form of IP in question and the needs of the particular industries that have developed out of that form of IP. This is further explained in the examples below.

COPYRIGHT: CREATIVE COMMONS LICENcES

In the case of copyright, copyright holders who want to make their works as publicly accessible as possible can choose to license their works over the internet using a Creative Commons license system.

These licences offer very open or generous license terms for users. To view an example of the Creative Commons licensing agreement, visit http://creativecommons.org.

COMPUTER SOFTWARE: OPEN-SOURCE LICENcES

A good example of industry-specific licensing practices involves computer software, which, as we have seen, can be protected by copyright as well as by patents, in certain countries. Open-source license systems have a similar underlying objective to Creative Commons licensing and other open license arrangements.

Open-source licensing for software involves making software available for free for others to use or modify as they see fit. The intent in this sort of licensing is generally to facilitate a collaborative effort so programmers can improve the source code and share it with others. Despite the fact that the software is made available for free, the creator generally retains copyright over the code and licenses the right to use the software in accordance with specific license terms.

If you are using open-source software in your business, it is wise to thoroughly understand the terms associated with its use. For example, some licences require derivative works to be licensed under the same terms and conditions as the original code. Therefore, in this case, you will likely be unable to assert proprietary rights over the code you have developed if it builds on existing open-source code. Open-source licences for computer programs can have an impact on your business in ways you may need to recognize and anticipate.

Lessons Learned

When you are developing your IP portfolio, you should bear in mind that your IP can be monetized independently of your primary business activities. Licensing all or parts of your IP to third parties is an important mechanism to be considered as you develop your IP strategy.

Last modified: Thursday, 3 September 2020, 1:17 PM