The Licensing Blog

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Why Should You Hire a Licensing Attorney?

Judge gavelby Andrew J. Levison, Esq.

So you have decided to license your artwork, your invention, your story, your unique concept, or your patentable intellectual property, to a person or entity, or, you are a manufacturer seeking to the intellectual property of a person or company to use in conjunction with the items you make. DO YOU NEED A LAWYER TO HELP YOU?

What follows are some key reasons why you should hire an attorney to help you with a licensing agreement. Some pertain to the creative community as licensors, and others relate to manufacturers, as licensees. However both creative individuals and manufacturers should be familiar with both.First: Most creative individuals are just that, creative individuals. In almost all cases, with all due respect to their creative genius, a creative person has little or no experience in preparing, never mind negotiating a business contract, especially a licensing agreement. A lawyer will provide you with the expertise needed to protect you and your intellectual property. Likewise, many manufacturers are new to the licensing business, and although they may have entered into contracts before, they are completely unfamiliar with the terms of a licensing agreement. An attorney will make you aware of the   terms in an agreement, the process of negotiating them, and through his/her representation, save you the time and effort in attempting to deal with the agreement yourself. The attorney’s expertise, will allow you to focus on your day to day responsibilities at work.

Second: If you hire an attorney to help you, you will be in the hands of a professional who will provide you with the expertise to draft and negotiate and/or review the license agreement. If the potential licensee/licensor (depending upon which side of the relationship you are on), has a licensing agreement that it requires you to use, the attorney will review the agreement for you and negotiate the boiler plate (standard terms) for you, making revisions to the agreement that benefit you in the licensing relationship. Alternatively, either a licensee of a property, or a licensor, may be asked to draft and present a licensing agreement to the other party. In this case, the attorney, can, at your direction as to the terms, prepare the agreement for you to present to the other party to the deal.

Third: Hiring an attorney gives you insulation between yourself and the proposed licensee/licensor in negotiating the terms of the licensing agreement. The attorney serves as your representative and spokesperson, so you are not faced with the stress of negotiating the agreement yourself. Hiring a lawyer to represent you takes you a step away from the negotiations so your attorney, and not you, will deal with the front line negotiations.

Fourth: For artists, inventors and other creative persons, your creativity is your bread and butter. Your time in creating your art, invention, et al is very valuable. If you try to negotiate a licensing agreement yourself, you are taking away from your creative time, the time you use to create the ideas and inventions that you wish to license, and from which you derive your income. Conversely, but just as importantly, the owner of a company, or divisional director/vice president has a company /division to run. Hiring a lawyer allows you to continue to do your job, and not be distracted from that job by having to take the time to deal with the agreement process.

Whether you are a potential licensee or licensor, expert legal guidance is a benefit to you in drafting and negotiating the licensing agreement you require.

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One Response

  1. Entertainment Attorney (Greater Los Angeles)

    Experienced entertainment (film and television production financing) attorney will perform legal services for: actors, crew members, writers, directors, producers and independent production companies in connection with transactions and litigation as follows:

    (i) the formation of a corporation or a limited liability company or joint venture or general or limited partnership;

    (ii) the application for copyright or trademark;

    (iii) the negotiation and preparation of all instruments, documents and agreements for all phases of film, television and home entertainment (video/DVD) production from development (e.g. literary option and purchase agreements and documents) through pre-production (e.g. employment agreements), production (principal photography), post-production (e.g. music rights and special effects acquisition and editing) and distribution and licensing agreements);

    (iv) the preparation of Offering/Placement Memoranda for non-public offerings and Offering Circulars and Prospectuses for public offerings for the formation of Limited Liability Companies and Limited Partnerships for feature film, television and home entertainment production financing; and

    (v) litigation in connection with entertainment related transactions through association with litigation counsel.

    Please contact Bruce at and provide a brief description of your needs and your contact information including your name and telephone number in your response. Thank you.

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