Five Tips for Licensing Intellectual Property

If you own intellectual property, licensing should be a core part of your business strategy. We help enterprise customers map out lucrative licensing strategies every day, and although we have a two part webinar series and a white paper focused on starting a licensing program, we wanted to take the time to list out the top five priorities you should focus on when building your licensing strategy.

1.    Have a plan.

Congratulations! You’ve been granted a patent for your idea. Now what? Protecting your assets is one thing, but capitalizing on them is another. Identifying clear objectives when it comes to licensing is crucial to your success. Are you planning to use licensing offensively to monetize your assets? Or maybe even as a tool to enter into a new market. Regardless of your plan, be sure you have a specific focus and goals. This will help you accurately measure success and easily make adjustments when necessary.

2.    Look outside the box and into adjacent markets.

There will always be companies with similar technologies in your space that are easy licensing targets. But don’t stop there. In your search for potential partners, be sure and look into adjacent markets, where companies could be using your technology for different purposes. This will allow you to expand your portfolio and get the most bang for your IP buck.

3.    Designate a specialized team.

Intellectual property should not be an afterthought. In fact, a key driver in your licensing strategy success is designating appropriate resources to your cause, including a specialized licensing team. The makeup of this team may vary slightly depending upon your internal hierarchy, but licensing teams are typically made up of several cross functioning team members including an executive sponsor, business development, marketing, R&D, legal, financial and sales.

4.    Don’t do too much at once.

You don’t want to just license any patent. This should be a well vetted process to determine which IP in your portfolio has  the most reach and is the most attractive for your candidates. Starting with just 1 to 2 key patents and developing a strong licensing strategy around them can be a good spring board into a full-fledged licensing business center down the line. Once you can demonstrate viability, it will be easier for you to get the executive buy in necessary to expand your program.

5.    Know your value.

In your quest to establish a successful licensing program, you may come across companies that are larger and more versed than you are in the area. Do not allow these entities to bully you, no matter what your size. Consult with an IP attorney and use Innography to establish a tangible market value for your IP and stick to it.

Establishing a licensing program is no easy task, and we’re here to provide the tools and guidance you need to ensure success. Happy Licensing!

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