31. Licensing Law

Licensing LawLicensing Law is an amalgam of common law, case law, statutes and regulations – both federal and state – dealing with the protection of Intellectual Property rights. “Intellectual Property” involves creations of the mind. “Intellectual property rights” are protections allowing a creation’s maker/owner to benefit from work/ investment in the creation. Those rights are legally protected in order to: reward the maker/owner; encourage further innovation, by protecting the original maker/owner and inspiring others to make/own other creations; spur economic growth by creating jobs and industries; and protect consumers. For purposes of intellectual property rights, Intellectual Property is divided into two broad categories: Industrial Property and Copyright. “Industrial Property” refers to trademarks, patents for inventions, geographical indications and industrial designs. “Copyright” is a bundle of rights involving many facets of literature, music, film, art and architecture.

Though Licensing Law is increasingly treated as a distinct body of law, it cuts across many legal categories, including but not limited to contracts, property, public policy, antitrust law, secured transactions and laws/regulations governing digital and online industries. Consequently, a lawyer specializing in Licensing Law has a developed a working knowledge of those areas in view of licensing for the protection of Intellectual Property Rights.