Licensing

21st November 2021 0 By indiafreenotes

Licensing is a business arrangement in which one company gives another company permission to manufacture its product for a specified payment.

Licensing generally involves allowing another company to use patents, trademarks, copyrights, designs, and other intellectual in exchange for a percentage of revenue or a fee. It’s a fast way to generate income and grow a business, as there is no manufacturing or sales involved. Instead, licensing usually means taking advantage of an existing company’s pipeline and infrastructure in exchange for a small percentage of revenue.

As in this mode of entry the transference of knowledge between the parental company and the licensee is strongly present, the decision of making an international license agreement depend on the respect the host government shows for intellectual property and on the ability of the licensor to choose the right partners and avoid having them compete in each other’s market. Licensing is a relatively flexible work agreement that can be customized to fit the needs and interests of both licensor and licensee. The following are the main advantages and reasons to use an international licensing for expanding internationally:

  • Reach new markets not accessible by export from existing facilities.
  • Quickly expand without much risk and large capital investment.
  • Obtain extra income for technical know-how and services.
  • Pave the way for future investments in the market.
  • Retain established markets closed by trade restrictions.
  • Political risk is minimized as the licensee is usually 100% locally owned.

Benefits and Limitations

In licensing, the licensor gets the advantage of entering the international market at little risk. However, the licensor has little to no control over the licensee, in terms of production, distribution and sales of the product. In addition to this, if the licensee gets success, the firm has given up profits, and whenever the licensing agreement expires, the firm might find that it has given birth to a competitor.

As a prevention measure, there are certain proprietary product components supplied by the licensor itself. Although, innovation is considered as the appropriate strategy so that the licensee will have to depend on the licensor.

On the other hand, the licensee acquires expertise in production or a renowned brand name. It expects that the arrangement will increase the overall sales, which might open the doors to the new market and help in achieving the business objectives. However, it requires a considerable capital investment, to start the operations, as well as the developmental cost is also borne by the licensee.

Reasons

There are many reasons for an intellectual property (IP) owner to grant a license. The most obvious one is to generate revenue from the guarantee and royalty payments. But licensing also can serve a number of other purposes. In some cases, those “other” reasons to license might actually be more important to the licensor than the sheer dollars (or euros, pounds, pesos, won, rupees) that are earned. Among them:

Marketing support for the core business. For a television show, movie, children’s book or sports franchise, the retail display and proliferation of licensed products doesn’t only generate product sales, but it also promotes the core property. An array of toys or apparel tied to a movie, sitting on a store shelf, also helps to promote the movie itself. A sports fan wears a sweatshirt with the logo of her favourite team expresses her enthusiasm about the team, but also subtly promotes the sports, the league and the team to anyone who passes her by on the street. The same goes for a beer brand. Seeing a store display of glassware carrying a well-known beer logo, or walking into a neighbor’s home and seeing the glasses on his bar reinforces the brand image, supporting the brands overall marketing efforts.

Extending a corporate brand into new categories, areas of a store, or into new stores overall. Licensing represents a way to move a brand into new businesses without making a major investment in new manufacturing processes, machinery or facilities. In a well-run licensing program, the property owner maintains control over the brand image and how it’s portrayed (via the approvals process and other contractual strictures), but eventually reaps the benefit in additional revenue (royalties), but also in exposure in new channels or store aisles.

Trying out potential new businesses or geographical markets with relatively small upfront risk. By licensing its brand to a third-party manufacturer, a property owner can try new businesses, or move itself into new countries with a smaller upfront investment than by building and staffing its own operations.

Maintaining control over an original creation. Licensing represents a way for artists and designers to profit from their creative efforts, while maintaining control over how they are used. For brand owners (particularly those doing business in the global marketplace), licensing and registering the brands in multiple markets is a way to protect the brand from being used by others without authorization.