Trademark licence

Trademark licence

A trademark right, like other intellectual property rights, can be licensed to others. In this case, you allow others to use your trademark. You can do so under predetermined conditions. You can read more about it on this page.

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Trademark licence

A trademark provides you with a strong monopoly: you can prohibit others from using signs that are (too) similar to your trademark. You can also choose to actually allow certain parties to use your trademark. If you own a trademark with commercial value, other parties may be willing to pay you for its use. That way, you can exploit your trademark commercially.

For example, fashion companies often make use of this possibility. They allow clothing manufacturers to feature their products with their trademarks, or allow distributors to sell products featuring their trademarks. The use of a trademark can also be part of a franchise agreement. This often happens in the retail and hospitality industries, for example. Trademark owners then allow companies to do business under a certain franchise formula, which includes the use of the trademark..

Licence agreement

A right to use an intellectual property right is also called a licence – so, in the case of a trademark, a trademark licence. You (as licensor) grant a trademark licence to another party (the licensee) by entering into a licence agreement. In principle, this can be done verbally, but it is of course wise to record such agreements in a written licence agreement.

You can attach many different conditions to the use of a trademark in the licence agreement. For example, conditions on exclusivity, territoriality, duration and termination, fees, the right to sublicence, permitted forms of use of the trademark, quality requirements for the licensee or other obligations for the licensee.

Trademark registration

Finally, it is important that others know who is allowed to use a trademark. The trademark owner can therefore have granted licences recorded in the Benelux or European Union trademark register. If you do not have a trademark licence recorded in a trademark register, a licensee may not independently take action against third parties making improper use of the trademark. After all, in that case it is not clear to others that they have the right to use it and authority to act against violators.

Wieringa Lawyers

The lawyers at Wieringa Advocaten have extensive knowledge of trademarks and trademark licensing. We frequently draft licence agreements and are happy to advise you on the various choices you can make in this regard. From our legal expertise, we are also happy to think commercially with you!