Basics on Trademark Licensing in California
At Law Advocates Group, we specialize in all aspects of entertainment law and one of such areas concerns trademark licensing. While trademark licensing is a process that can be applied to a trademark in any industry, it is especially relevant in works related to entertainment. Licensing an already existing, registered trademark is not the same thing as registering the trademark in the first place. The former is a legal process whereby the licensor consents to a licensee using and distributing the licensor’s registered trademark. Without a proper agreement in place and an understanding of the terms, both parties can potentially become involved in a legal battle.
Some of the Mechanics of Licensing
The licensor has a vested interest in ensuring their trademark is used according to their standards and requirements. Trademarks are usually used to denote a brand and the ways in which trademarks are used can either help or hinder the brand in question. Therefore, while a trademark owner has the legal right to have sole use and distribution of the trademark, they also have the right to determine how the trademark is used. When a trademark licensing agreement is created, the licensor can require the licensee to present how the trademark will be applied to a product or service prior to publication/printing/etc. Stipulations within a licensing contract can include, but are not limited to, the following: the kind of license in use, the trademark being licensed, how the trademark can be utilized (determining the products or services it can be used with), and quality control requirements.
Types of Trademark Licenses and Concluding Notes
Trademark licenses vary depending on how both parties wish to use the trademark in the present and the future. The types of licenses can range from non-exclusive ones that allow for multiple parties to license the trademark to exclusive ones that henceforth hand over trademarking rights to the licensee. It is highly recommended that all parties go through this process with the aid of experienced attorneys. Otherwise, missed provisions or unintentional intellectual property law violations can result in a mishandling of legal rights.