What type of client should consider licensing their intellectual property?
A lot of times, like right now I’m going through something with a client where they are what I’d call a mid-sized business, and they are looking to market products in a space that’s occupied by a very big, very aggressive entity that has a lot of IP. So, rather than trying to go to war with them, if their ideas are good enough, they might be able to approach them and talk them into licensing and working with them. So that would be one example where licensing is a good option.
Other times I’ve had clients where they have a relationship with someone who has some market presence but they themselves really can’t, because they don’t have any production capabilities, they just have a good idea and they happen to have the right patent for this. So sometimes they would benefit from licensing. Although often the better option there is to simply sell their patent rather than trying to license it.
The other example where licensing is very important is when it’s between the big guys, like IBM and Apple for example. There’s a lot of cross-licensing going on. What it comes down to is we can do this, you can do that, we’d like to both do it, let’s just … So a lot of times they will actually license patents more-or-less in bulk. That’s another example where it’s of mutual benefit to everyone to just cross-license what you have.