Share this Page URL

Introduction > Risks and Benefits of Licensing - Pg. 215

Licensing 215 Introduction Licensing is the practice of selling less than all of an intellectual property right to a third party. This chapter will discuss two kinds of licensing: content licensing , where a trademark and/or copyrights are exploited in other media (example: Batman comics becoming Batman the movie and toys); and technology licensing, where a third party acquires the rights to use a technology or incorporate that technology into its product (example: the 3-D engine used in the Quake games is licensed for use by other game developers in making their own games). The structure of this chapter is a bit different from its predecessors. The contract terms and logic of the licensing world will be introduced and then illustrated through examples of four different con- tracts, an engine license, a film option, a children's television series license, and a license for a developer to purchase a little-known property from a third party. Note NOTE Some definitions:The party who ownsthe rights is known as the licensor ,while the recipient of those rights isthe licensee. A property , for purposes ofthis chapter (and as generally used inthe industry), is a set of trademarksand copyrights that identify productsand entertainment as coming from asingle source (though not necessarily asingle author). Licensing versus Owning The idea of licensing property can seem counter-intuitive: either you own something, or you don't. Law professors like to explain the subtleties of property use and ownership with the "bundle of sticks" metaphor. A property that you own is comprised of many different sticks, each representing a sep-