Licensing Agreements: Apply Your Knowledge
Consider the following scenario. Using the knowledge you have gained and the text “Essentials of Intellectual Property: Law, Economics, and Strategy” as a reference, write a short essay no longer than 300 words that analyzes the situation.
You have created your first board game, registered your copyrights, and submitted the title of the game for trademark protection. You have also contacted several toy companies to see if they are interested in your game idea. After about two months, you receive a call from an executive from one of the companies, Mr. John Rubrik. You set up an appointment to meet with him and discuss your project over lunch.
Several days later, you meet Mr. Rubrik at his very impressive office. Mr. Rubrik—John, as he’s asked you to call him—is very nice. He gives you a full tour of the manufacturing plant, shows you some of the latest projects they are working on, and even gives you a few toys to take home for your daughter. After that, he drives you over to a very nice restaurant for a delicious meal.
Over lunch, John tells you that his company is very interested in your idea, that they think it will be a big success, and that they would like to license it from you. You are, of course, interested and begin negotiating.
As it turns out, John is really easy to negotiate with. He agrees with just about all of your conditions and offers a larger than expected advance on royalties with modest royalty payments after that. He even asks you if you think the playing pieces would look nicer in antiqued metal or cast glass.
By that afternoon, you have reached an agreement on every possible detail and shake on it. John says he will send a copy of the licensing agreement to you the next morning. As soon as you sign and return it, the company will issue a check for your advance.
Well, you are so excited that you barely sleep that night. At ten o’clock the next morning an overnight delivery package arrives at your door with the contract and a prepaid return envelope. There is a friendly note from John suggesting that you might consider a job with them and asking that you come to them with any new ideas first. Then, you take a look at the contract.
You read through it. It looks great. Everything is laid out as you discussed over lunch, the money and everything else, right down to the playing pieces being made of polished glass. Then you notice a single line toward the end of the contract that says, “all rights convey to the licensee.” You think to yourself, “it’s just some standard legal jargon” as you pick up your pen, but you hesitate before signing.
What would you do next? Please share with us the reasons for your answer.
Assignment Grading Criteria
Develops a response with accurate and relevant information that thoroughly supports the topic.
Formulates independent conclusions based on research and analysis that support the topic.
Supports ideas and demonstrates understanding with textual, visual, and/or oral references and examples. Where relevant, uses proper MLA citation format and style.
Employs correct and standard college-level English grammar, mechanics, spelling, punctuation and sentence structure, appropriate logic and voice, and (where relevant) MLA manuscript formatting.