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Posts Tagged: "license terms"

Drafting a Licensing Agreement, a Patentee Perspective

Having an attorney draft a licensing agreement, or a licensing expert negotiate a licensing agreement, from start to finish is obviously the best way to proceed. But there will always be some who will choose to proceed on their own to negotiate a licensing and/or draft an agreement. This can certainly be dangerous, but sometimes there is no alternative given financial constraints. Whether you are going to represent yourself or work with an attorney or licensing professional, it is a worthwhile endeavor to engage in some strategic thinking, which absolutely must be the precursor to any memorialized deal.

Contracts 101: Covenants, Representations and Warranties in IP License Agreements

Recently, it has struck me that many business folks who “negotiate tons of IP license agreements,” fail to understand the difference between covenants, representations and warranties that are “standard” in many such agreements. Well, that is not too surprising. What is very surprising, however, is that many of their lawyers also fail to appreciate the differences as well! Many think the terms are synonymous and thus use them interchangeably. They are not. So, for those of you tired of faking the funk, here is some (either fresh or refresher) “Contracts 101!”

The Smart Phone Patent Wars: What are FRANDs For?

In all cases, the IEEE, JEDEC, ITU and TIA policies apply to both issued patents and pending applications (regardless of whether such applications are published). Further, all four policies make clear that the SSO will not get involved in the particulars as to what constitutes FRAND licensing practices. Interestingly, and for those paying attention, the IEEE, JEDEC and ITU policies require disclosure of essential patents, whereas the TIA policy simply encourages disclosure of essential patents. Again, there simply is no generally-accepted test to determine whether a particular license offer satisfies the reasonable aspect of an SSO participant’s FRAND commitment. How does this play out in practical terms? A recent case is instructive.

Drafting a Licensing Agreement, A Patentee Perspective

You might want to consider some type of up front guaranteed payment to ensure that you get at least something. This may seem overly pessimistic, but it is the job of any attorney negotiating or drafting a license to assume that things will go wrong. The agreement can never contemplate everything, but with respect to payment you need protection. What if the licensee is paying you a defined percentage of sales but then decides to offer your product for free, or as an add-on to a sale, as is common in direct TV marketing? If your product is used as a “come on” and given away for free even 100% of $0 is still $0. That is why some type of minimum payment can be quite beneficial.