How do you license your invention 1

License agreement: what should you watch out for?

From, last update on: May 15, 2021

Creatives and inventors develop every day new designs, products, machines and patents. In order to be able to live from these creations and with them the financial means for further investments ready, they must turn their inventions at face value. This is possible through the Sale of licenses. In most cases, this is based on a License agreement.

FAQ on the license agreement

What is a license agreement for?

Rights of use can be transferred with the aid of a license agreement.

Who can conclude a license agreement?

In principle, both private individuals and companies have the right to act as licensees or licensees. However, it is mainly companies that acquire the rights to patents, trademarks, designs or utility models.

Why should I give up my rights through a license agreement?

In principle, your industrial property rights are retained even with a license agreement; you only allow a third party to use these. An important criterion is often the financial compensation that comes with the contract. This sometimes makes a significant contribution to making a living and paying for new research. In addition, large corporations often have better opportunities to further develop experiments and inventions.

What is a license agreement?

A license agreement is a document with which the owner of industrial property rights can sign a Third party rights of use for this grant can. The license agreement plays a special role in patent, but also for Trademarks, designs and utility models such a one is put on.

By transferring or granting a license, the beneficiary in the contract is entitled to a To use the work to the contractually agreed scope. In compensation for this, the rights holder usually receives a financial compensation.

The Amount of remuneration is significantly influenced by what kind of license You acquire: One simple license is usually quite cheap, but then you can competitors too secure these rights of use. But if you do exclusive or exclusive licenses buy, the expenses are higher, but you are the only one who can benefit from this know-how.

There is also the option of using the Scope of the license limited by wording in the license agreement. In the spatial license the subject of the contract may only be used in a specific, previously defined area. Temporary licenses limit the right of use to a pre-agreed period.

The term “license agreement” is rather unusual in copyright law. Rather, it is one Contract for the transfer of usage rights.

Structure of the license agreement

The legislator writes for license agreements no precise specifications why these are usually individual contracts. This forms the basis for this general contract law.

The license conditions define to what extent and in what way the licensee may use a certain property right. In theory, it is not mandatory to include the license agreement in written form complete. Due to the Traceability however, this practice is common.

The following elements are typically firmer Part of a license agreement:

  • Description of the subject matter of the contract
  • Granting and scope of the rights of use
  • License model or fees
  • Liability and warranty
  • Information on the contract period and the end of the contract
  • possibly contractual penalties

The license agreement thus contains all obligationswhich the contracting parties enter into with each other. The main task is to find out what Maintain property rightso that recovery is also possible. For this reason, a license agreement usually also contains one Regulation on the payment of fees to maintain the property right.

License agreement: what a sample can look like

Like the ones listed earlier Elements of the license agreement in one template combine to form a license agreement, can be seen in the following example from trademark law:


I'm an example
Example path 12
12345 example city

- hereinafter referred to as the licensor -


Benno defendant
Example avenue 77
56789 example village

- hereinafter referred to as the licensee -

the following trademark license agreement is concluded.

(1) The subject of this agreement is the national word mark “Bine Example backt” registered with the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) with the file number 123/16. The registration took place on January 12, 2016 and the entry on February 20, 2016. The trademark is registered for the following goods and / or services: Classes 30 and 43 of the Nice Classification.

(2) The licensor is the owner of the trademark.

(3) He has not granted any further licenses for the named brand to third parties.

(1) The licensor hereby authorizes the licensee to use the brand named in § 1.

(2) This license covers all registered goods and services.

(1) The licensee pays the licensor a remuneration for the granting of rights described here in the amount of xxx.xx euros. The amount is to be paid within two weeks after signing the contract.

(1) The licensee is entitled to issue sub-licenses.

(1) The licensee is obliged to use the trademark in accordance with the protected goods and services.

§ 6 Defense of Property Rights

(1) The licensee is entitled to prosecute violations of the licensed trademark within the scope of this contract at his own expense and risk.

§ 7 Existence of property rights

(1) The licensee undertakes to pay all fees incurred for maintaining the brand in good time.

(1) The term is 10 years.

(1) Products that are produced under the license granted in this contract may still be sold by the licensee for a period of six months after the termination of this contract. In addition, further use of the trademark after termination is prohibited.

§ 10 Severability Clause

(1) Insofar as a provision from this contract is or becomes invalid or unenforceable, the remaining provisions from this contract remain unaffected.

Example city, October 1st, 2016

Signature Bine example

Signature of the defendant Benno

The sample is available for download below:
Model for a trademark license agreement as a PDF file (.pdf)
Sample for a trademark license agreement as a Word file (.doc)

Note: This license agreement is a Sample contract, above all the illustration serves. For this reason, it is generally not advisable to enter into such a trademark license agreement Accept pattern completely. Generally here is one Adjustment necessary.

License agreement - short and compact

A license agreement defines the Conditions for the granting of usage rights in the case of commercial legal protection. The rights holder thus allows the Use of his creation and receives financial compensation for it. The inventor or remains Developer but still owner of the patent or trademark.

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License agreement: what should you watch out for?
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