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IP Basics- Should I license or franchise my trade mark?

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 30 January 2016

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Intellectual property can be a business’s most valuable asset.  

A way this value rises is by allowing others to use it.

This can be done through a license or a franchise.

A license is the loan on your intellectual property or permission given to others to use it. This can be for all of your IP or just part of it. Generally intellectual property is licensed out for a specific class of goods or services if it happens to be a trade mark, or with other more general IP rights for a specific purpose. By creating a license, you are allowing a third party to use your intellectual property but under your terms which means there will be no issue when it comes to infringement. It also allows you to capitalise on some intellectual property that you may not be using to its full advantage.

When creating a license, it is always best to get in it writing with all agreed terms expressly written, signed by both parties and witnesses so there is no disagreement as to what is allowed.

A franchise is similar in principle as you are letting a third party use your intellectual property but it is on a bigger scale.

To create a franchise, you need a complete business model that include intellectual property that a third party can purchase from you as a package to run an addition to your business on your behalf.

You need to have set up business rules on staff, uniform, health and safety as well as many other aspects to ensure whoever you franchise your business to will run it to your standards and continue to maintain its reputation.

On the other hand, a franchise can be a good way to start a business for a first time. It will come as a complete package with plenty of guidance and expertise from its owners to aid you. It also can be a cost effective way to gain experience in an industry that you may want to branch out in on your own in the future.

For any other advice on how you make the most of your intellectual property, get in contact with Lawdit Solicitors.

If you'd like to know more about this article please send an email to Ellis Sweetenham quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

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