Enforcing a Licensing Agreement

Authored by , LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

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What is a Licensing Agreement?

A licensing agreement is an arrangement where one party grants another party rights to produce or sell goods, or to apply a copyright, trademark, or patent that they own.  The party granting the rights is called the “licensor”, and the party receiving the rights is called the “licensee”.  The transfer of license rights is usually done for a monetary fee, where the payments are collected in the form of royalties.   

What’s Usually Contained in a Licensing Agreement?

A licensing agreement usually covers many different aspects including:

Since a licensing agreement is basically a contract, the parties can also include many other different provisions as needed, depending on the subject matter of the license.  These will be enforceable so long as they are not illegal and the parties fully agree to the terms in the licensing agreement.

What is Involved in Enforcing a Licensing Agreement?

Licensing agreements are contracts and are governed by various contract and business laws.  As such, enforcing a licensing agreement can involve various contract remedies.  Violations of terms contained in a licensing agreement may result in the following remedies:

Enforcing a licensing agreement becomes much easier when the contract itself is well-written.  If the parties clearly understand their rights and duties according to the licensing agreement, it can help prevent disputes in the long run. 

Many types of licensing agreements also involve intellectual property laws such those governing infringement of copyrights, trademarks, brand names, and patents.  Infringement-related violations are subject to criminal law, not just private civil lawsuits. 

Criminal penalties may include heavy fines and even jail time.   Some jurisdictions also require the seizure of goods that were produced or distributed through infringement. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance With Enforcing a Licensing Agreement?

Licensing agreements are a vital part of many business enterprises.  Enforcing a licensing agreement can sometimes be complicated.  You may wish to hire a qualified lawyer in your area if you need help getting your agreement enforced in court.  An attorney can also assist you during the drafting and negotiation stages, so that you can be prepared in the event of a dispute.

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Last Modified: 02-16-2012 02:27 PM PST

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