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An Intellectual Property Licensing Agreement is a document that grants a party the permission to use another party's work of intellectual property, such as invention, copyright, formulas, design, patterns, process, trade name, trade mark, etc. usually for a fee. This is an agreement between the owner of the intellectual property (the licensor) and the person authorized to use the intellectual property (the licensee) usually in exchange for payment. Hence, what is conferred here is the permission and authority to use the intellectual property without transferring the ownership of such property.
Whenever an intellectual property is being used by a person other than the originator of the intellectual property, the user in most cases pays the originator a fee (usually called royalties or licensing fee) for the use of the intellectual property.
Works of intellectual property that can licensed include, but not limited to: copyrights, work of invention or innovation, trade marks, trade name, logos, designs, patterns. Examples of an intellectual property licence are: a popular football team licensing their brand name to a sports clothing manufacturing company. An inventor of a mechanical process, granting a licence to another to use the invention for the production of goods. A movie producer granting licence to a movie screening outlet to reproduce and display the producer's movies.
The owner of the intellectual property retains the ownership of the property, but merely gives the licensee the authority to use the intellectual property for a particular period.
What distinguishes this document from an Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement is that the latter is used to permanently transfer all the rights in a work of intellectual property in exchange for a fee, while this document is used to transfer some or all of a party's intellectual property rights for a specific amount of time for a fee, after which, all intellectual property rights revert to the owner.
How to use this document?
This document specifies the terms and conditions of an intellectual property licence such as the licensing fee, the rights granted in the licence, the manner in which the licence should be used and the scope of the licence.
After completing this document, at least two copies of the document should be printed and signed by both parties.
If either of the parties is a Nigerian company, either two director or one director and one secretary should sign the document and affix the common seal of the company to the document.
If either of the parties is an organization other than a company, an officer of the organization should sign the document and ensure that a witness attests the document by writing their name, address, occupation and signature in the row right below the signature of the officer in the document.
Each party should keep at least one signed copy of the document for record purposes.
The Trade Marks Act Cap T13, LFN 2004 and the Trade Marks Regulations,1990 are applicable to trademarks in Nigeria. The Nigerian Copyrights Act, Cap 28 LFN, 2004 are applicable to copyrights in Nigeria. Patents and Designs Act, Cap P2 LFN, 2004 is applicable to registered patents in Nigeria.
The general rules of contract are also applicable to this document.
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