Licence law – FAQ
What is a licence?
A licence is an agreement by which a right to use “intellectual property“ of a licensor is transferred to a licensee.
Where is licence law regulated?
Licence law is not regulated in any specific legal regulations. Legal norms on which this area of law is based, are contained in regulations such as the Trademark Act, the Copyright Act, as well as the general contract law. Since the abovementioned regulations vary to a great degree, it is hardly possible to make general statements on licences without taking into consideration the respective area of law.
The transfer of an exploitation right can be regulated in a separate licence agreement or in general forms and conditions of trade, but also in a purchase agreement, a contract for work and labour or other agreements. It is apparent that the form of an agreement influences further important legal effects.
What must be taken into consideration when transferring an exploitation right?
Transferring an exploitation right requires not only the permission to use a right, but first of all - the existence of this right. The question whether a holder of an exploitation right does possess this right and is allowed to transfer it has to be cleared in the first place. This is especially complicated when unregistered rights are concerned, such as a copyright or an unregistered Community design.
In case of copyright licences the exact type of exploitation has to be stated.
The extent of a licence (limited, general) has to be cleared, too, both as far as time and territory are concerned.
Another essential aspect is the height of the licensing fees, which can be a one-time charge, lump-sum payment or royalty. As far as the latter is concerned, there are standard licence rates.
What do we need to review your licence contract or to draft a correct contract tailored to suit your needs?
In you want to have your licence contract reviewed, please send us the text of the contract to be reviewed, as well as your contact data so that we can contact you and present you with more detailed information, such as our further course of action and our fees
We cannot draft any licence contracts without prior consultation with you (at least by telephone). We need to know which right, how, where and for what period is to be licensed. It might also be helpful to know your goals and your intended clients. Please contact us if you need a licence contract.