It was first published as a chapter in the following U.S. law book – Gregory J. Battersby and Charles W. Grimes, 2009 Licensing Update, Wolters Kluwer, Austin, 2009. Last month I presented it at the annual conference for Accredited Business Law Specialists in NSW.

It begins with a short history on contract drafting techniques in recent decades in Australia, especially for intellectual property licences. It then focuses on the approach we take in our firm to create more effective and useful IP licences and other types of legally binding contracts. This necessarily involves nailing legally harder topics such as the quality of services or products. This involves drafting so-called “service level agreements”.

As the paper notes, licensing is a broad concept. Here’s an extract on that point:

Licensing is a broad concept. It is applied in trade for business systems, technology, entertainment, and information products. No simple typology exists to cover this broad range of areas which includes:

  • Technology licensing agreements, eg for software, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, biotechnology, agricultural products
  • Trademark and brand licensing agreements, including for celebrity-endorsements
  • Franchising agreements, more accurately termed business system franchising
  • Content licensing agreements, eg for text, audio, video and other images, in each case whether online or offline, and whether free-of-charge, for a fee or advertiser-supported
  • Sometimes even agreements for collaborative arrangements, ie distribution and agency arrangements, outsourcing, offshoring, insourcing, joint ventures, and strategic alliances.
Noric Dilanchian