A licence is an agreement involving the transfer of rights from one party (“the licensor”) to the other (“the licensee”).
These rights commonly control the use for copying, manufacture, sale etc. of an a patent, copyright material, confidential knowhow etc.
A license deal may include a lump sum payment for the right to exploit the invention (either exclusively or non exclusively), usually in a particular market or for a particular purpose (referred to as the “field”), plus a royalty on the licensee’s sales. The deal may also include a research contract with the University, plus a consultancy arrangement under which the inventor gives the company assistance in setting up work in its own laboratories.
There are certain terms of a licence which affect you directly: confidentiality, improvements, and publication. Please discuss these issues with our Project Manager.
Confidentiality: the terms of the licence agreement (and occasionally its existence) and information about the licensee’s development and commercial plans and activities are confidential to protect your interests.
Improvements: licensees expect access to improvements in the technology so they can sell more, better products and to protect against your future ideas going to a competitor. The risk is the creation of a ‘pipeline’ through which your future ideas are pre-sold to a single company, who may in future become an unsuitable commercial partner. Please discuss these issues with our Project Manager.