A recommendation to create a separate corporate licensing team with its own legal staff

A supplement to the ACC Docket, by Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, Summer 2010 at 6, discusses approvingly the establishment by companies that license their patents to others (“outlicensing companies”) of a separate corporate licensing team. The team should operate on its own, not part of law or business development, and it should include an interdisciplinary mix of staff, including from the legal department. BellSouth is cited as an example of a licensing team, one that included more than 30 professionals.

The complexity of big-league licensing agreements, the article argues, and the length of time required to hammer out the terms on many of them, or the funding associated with both make it better to create a distinct group (See my post of Dec. 31, 2007: intellectual property licensing with 12 references; Nov. 8, 2009: most patents make no money; and July 15, 2010: Motorola’s licensing structure.).

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