Licensing is a dynamic market and you never know what’s going on behind the scenes. That’s one reason licensing is very lucrative. Some of the worlds largest companies have so much IP development going on they can’t commercialize it all. In many cases, they look to outside companies to license it. And this can lead to a goldmine of opportunity for your small business.

goldmine

P&G is one company who uses licensing extensively. In fact, they have an innovation out reach program specifically for partnering up with businesses of all sizes, not only to license out their brands but also to collaborate with them in developing new products. And for many innovative small businesses this is exactly the type of licensing opportunity that can take your business from zero to millions, literally in a matter of months. I’ve seen this first hand licensing entertainment properties, but it can also happen with the right brand and product combination.

When P&G wanted to expand into the sunglasses category, they licensed their Cover Girl brand to a small sunglasses company. With this well-known brand, sales took off and the sunglasses quickly rose to the number one seller at retail in its first year. In another case, a small company invented a fabric softener and licensed it to P&G, who did some internal R&D on it, and created Bounce, which became one of the best-selling fabric softeners in the world.

It takes time to find the right IP and licensing opportunity or partner. It’s a dynamic process, that requires you be actively in the market, whether it’s licensing out your IP or finding one to license in. Some of my clients retain me as their “eyes and ears” and help them find IP to license in. Entertainment properties are one example. I’ve worked with several clients who wanted to license popular movie franchises. This is a tough IP to license, because these properties are often locked up in long-term license deals between the studios and large manufacturers. But sometimes we were there at the right time, and licensed rights to a new product category and territory that was just opening up.

Growing your business doesn’t mean spending lots of time and money trying to sell more products or services. In today’s IP rich market, licensing is a lucrative strategy for expanding your business. But success in licensing requires taking action and making it part of your daily business activities. Remember,the best licensing opportunities go to those companies that make licensing a part of their short and long-term strategy.

Mr. Brenner has over 30 years IP management and licensing experience with various industries including consumer products, food, entertainment, software,health technology, medical devices and digital media. He has led international licensing programs as both licensee and licensor, and through consulting projects focused on strategy and management, outbound / inbound licensing initiatives, and IP audits and due diligence.. He has developed and managed deals with Fortune 1000 companies including Universal Studios, Fox Interactive, Sony Pictures, Dow, Cargill, SmithKline Glaxo, Ranir, Coca Cola, Kellogg’s, Hasbro, Mattel, and others. He is a public speaker and published writer, and has taught classes at the university level. His speaking events have included UC Irvine, Tritech/SBDC, Irvine Chamber, Fast Start Studios, ICFO Investors Conference, San Diego Investment Conference, Westlaw Legal Center (NYC), National Speakers Association, and the Hong Kong FilmArt Expo. He has written several articles on licensing intellectual property which have appeared in the Licensing Journal, Intellectual Property Magazine, and License India.

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