How much control can I retain by licensing intellectual property?

UPDATED: Apr 3, 2015

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How much control can I retain by licensing intellectual property?

Can I require training to ensure quality without licensees becoming employees?I’m an expert in my field, and I offer (under my single member LLC) proprietary workshops and seminars. I’d like to license other speakers to present my workshops. I want to have a certain level of control over the integrity of my brand and quality control, so I want to require licensees to attend (and pay for) training, but I want to be careful that the licensees not be classified as employees. How much control can an I as an IP licensor have over the terms of a license? Can I require training? If not, can I incentivize training by offering discounted royalties fees to those who attend training?

Asked on April 3, 2015 under Business Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

A license is a contract: it can contain any terms or include any requirements, restrictions, etc. which the parties to the contract (i.e. you as licensor and any licensees) mutually agree to. So if people sign a license requiring training, for example, that is legal an enforcable. The key is to put all such terms and requirements right there, in plain language, in the license, so there is no claim that it was not agreed to or disclosed.

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