Trademark licensing: a best practice guide

By Rami S Yanni

While licensing offers a range of benefits to brand owners, there are numerous pitfalls to avoid. From partner selection to terminations, licensors must take care to ensure that their extensions are win-wins rather than costly missteps

Trademark licences offer a host of benefits to brand owners, enabling them to increase the value of their marks by expanding into product categories or territories where they lack the requisite capital, skills, experience, infrastructure or distribution network. Moreover, the goodwill created by a licensee’s authorised use of a mark inures to the licensor’s benefit, allowing it to establish product category breadth, geographic priority, continuous use and secondary meaning. However, there are numerous pitfalls which licensors must take care to avoid if a licence agreement is not to prove an expensive mistake.

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