Intellectual property rights are generally assignable from their original owners to any person or company. They can also be licensed, in whole or in part. For some intellectual property rights and in some countries, there are formality requirements necessity that the license be in writing, and or that it be recorded in a particular manner (and with a particular fee!).
A license can be very simple agreement, authorizing a certain activity in exchange for a certain consideration such as a lump some fee. However, the best licenses are usually those structured to best meet the parties business needs. This can include limitations to duration, geographical scope and the amount of IP licensed. It can also include payment provisions where the amount paid varies depending on a factor such as the units sold or meeting business targets, and potentially including reversionary rights should the targets not be met.
We are happy to customize our basic assignment and licensing agreements. We generally will provide these agreements at fixed fees of 500 dollars for the first agreement and 250 dollars for each subsequent agreement, inclusive of up to one hour of customization. Where detailed customization is required, or participation in license negotiations, we generally will provide our drafting services based on our hourly rates.
Canadian employers enjoy a presumption in law that they are the first owners of certain work done by their employees, in particular works capable of obtaining copyright, and inventions made in the course of the business. However, you do not automatically obtain the rights to a work or invention created by a contractor. As the use of contractors has increased, this is becoming more of a complication for Canadian businesses.
It is important that your employment contract ensure that the intellectual property rights created by your employees in the course of their employment are properly assigned to the employer. Likewise, when you engage the services of a contractor or design firm, you should ensure the agreement clearly specifies who will own what intellectual property rights.
In most cases we can prepare or provide these agreements quickly and cost effectively from our templates. Where customization is needed, we can provide it at our standard hourly rates. We are always happy to provide an estimate of the costs prior to beginning any project.