If you want to grant some rights over your copyrighted work to others, this can be done by way of assignment or licence. The details of the agreement need to be set out in detail in a binding legal document, to ensure that both parties are clear on the extent to which rights have been granted.
Granting a copyright licence
Giving someone else the right to use an intellectual asset over which you own copyright means that they can use that asset, subject to any restrictions you impose. An example could be the granting of a licence to use software. The licence would specify who could use the product, usually limiting this to one person, or with provision to add more if required.
In granting a bespoke licence to another organisation, you may need to enter into negotiations with them as to the terms of the licence. At Hutchinson Thomas, we can represent you during negotiations to ensure that all aspects of the agreement are dealt with thoroughly and that you achieve the best deal possible.
Ensuring your copyright licence is sound
We will ensure that the terms of the agreement are accurately set out in the licence agreement and that ownership of the intellectual property is clearly specified. This is important in the event that copyright is jointly owned by you and another party.
The agreement will also contain restrictions on the use of the copyright where appropriate. This could be to prevent use by the other party to obtain profit. The licence can also be exclusive or non-exclusive.
You should also consider liability in the event that something goes wrong. We will discuss the risks involved with you and ensure that your liability is limited as far as possible.
The pricing structure will be included in the agreement. There are various options to consider as well as a basic flat fee, for example, payment based on usage or commission or royalties calculated by reference to the revenue generated by usage of the copyrighted item.
If you are copyrighting a software product, you may also want to consider technical support and hosting.
The agreement will include a number of indemnities and warranties designed to protect both you and the end user.
Expert copyright licensing advice
Ensuring that your copyright licence covers every eventuality and protects your rights as far as possible can be complex. At Hutchinson Thomas we will work with you and your business to ensure that we understand your intellectual property, how you want it to be used and that it is properly protected from infringement.
We will explain everything clearly and work proactively on your behalf to ensure that your licence is put in place without delay.
If you believe that your copyrights have been infringed, we can also advise you of your rights and work on your behalf to resolve the matter.
Hutchinson Thomas is the first law firm in Wales to be awarded the Law Society Mark of Excellence. The firm and many of our lawyers are recognised year on year in the Legal 500 publication as leading individuals in their field.
If you would like to speak to one of our expert intellectual property lawyers about copyright licensing or infringement of copyright, ring us on the following numbers or fill in our contact form.