Patent licenses are agreements in which the patent owner grants certain rights to a licensee who, in return, pays royalties to the patent owner. They are an important mechanism for monetizing your patent portfolio.
Patent licenses can take many forms and are tailored to fit specific circumstances. A patent owner can license any scope of the patent rights to others, which choosing whether or not to retain rights itself.
An exclusive license is used to grant the licensee the sole right to make, use, sell, offer to sell, and import the patented technology. A non-exclusive license ensures the licensee will not be sued for patent infringement, but does not guarantee that other parties won’t have rights in the invention.
A given patent may cover technology that spans different sectors of commerce. Accordingly, patent licenses can be granted for various fields of use. For example, a patent covering next generation battery technology may be exclusively licensed to a single licensee in the field of automobiles, while non-exclusively licensed to a number of licensees in non-automible contexts.
Patent license payments can take any form agreed upon by the patent owner and the licensee. A creative IP attorney can help you tailor a license to fit your specific needs. That said, typical patent licenses include terms that account for fixed payments and/or royalties defined as a percentage of sales.
Fixed payments may be made as an upfront payment or scheduled over the duration of the patent license. For example, it is common that the licensee pays the patent owner some fixed payment at the inception of a patent license.
Royalties are typically defined as a percentage of net sales (gross sales minus adjustments). In an exclusive license, it is common to have minimum annual royalties the licensee must meet either through calculated royalties or in make-up payments. Failure to make the annual minimum royalties typically results in the expiration of the license or a reversion from exclusive rights to non-exclusivity.
A patent license can further define which party has the rights to enforce a patent through litigation. Accordingly, a patent license may be an opportunity for parties to share the risks and rewards of enforcing a patent or patent portfolio through litigation.
Please contact us if you would like more information about any of our patent licensing services.
Patent monetization requires maintenance and enforcement. RPL protects issued patent rights to be asserted against infringers.
Patent applications protect your inventions. RPL writes patents for your inventions and helps to file them around the world.
Design patents protect the ornamental, visual features of products and are particularly suited to prevent knockoff imitations.
Utility patents protect your invention's features and functions and can be filed as provisional or non-provisional patent applications.
A PCT application sets an international priority date for your patent and buys you time to determine in which countries you will pursue protection.
Patent licensing is one way to generate revenue from your patent portfolio. RPL can tailor a patent license for your specific needs.
Offensively or defensively, RPL partners with experienced patent trial attorneys to manage all stages of your patent litigation.
JDAs for partnering to develop new products, independent contractor agreements for hiring product developers, and patent sales and monetization.
Patent searches and opinions help you gather information and inform your decision for your patent matters. Quality searches and reliable analysis matters.