Trademark Licensing

Licensing is one of the most effective tools for acquiring or leveraging trademark assets. Click here to view a concise summary of various licensing techniques and other brand acquisition strategies and their practical advantages and disadvantages.

We have extensive experience in negotiating and structuring innovative trademark licensing agreements involving key business initiatives and significant brands. Our background includes:

  • Lead counsel on a two-year negotiation of a major consumer products master license agreement involving 60 product lines and more than $6 billion in projected sales

  • Negotiating, drafting and closing a $35 million naming rights agreement for a major sports arena over a single weekend

  • Negotiation and structuring of a designer license for a multiple-product line involving eight separate manufacturer-licensees

In our approach to licensing work, there are two aspects which particularly differentiate us. First, we believe it is critical to develop an understanding of the client's overall business strategy and how a particular licensing transaction fits into it. Most licensing agreements represent the formation of a long-term business relationship in which trademarks are only the most salient aspect. A command of substantive trademark law alone does not begin to provide an adequate basis upon which to structure and document such relationships.

Second, we believe that an important asset which we bring to our licensing work is a substantial litigation background. Understanding how the tools of enforcement really work in practice is essential for proper structuring of agreements, as well as for proper management of licensing negotiations. There is simply no way to know with confidence whether controversial language in a license agreement really matters, and if so, how it is likely to be interpreted in a court or arbitration forum, without having had hands-on experience in attempting to actually enforce, or defend against the enforcement of, such provisions.

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