IP Commercialisation

Your intellectual property is movable property (IP) that can be sold, licensed or traded in some other way.

A valuation of the intellectual property may be conducted to assist in arriving at a selling price. However, the first step of course would be to develop the IP to such an extent that it becomes commercially viable.  You might have to contract with third parties to assist with developments.  As a first step one should always enter into non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with potential developers. These NDAs should include specific provisions relating to IP and the ownership thereof as well as non-circumvention clauses.

The next step would be to enter into a development agreement.  IP clauses are again very important.  You should ensure that you will ultimately own or share in the IP.  This may not be straight forward especially where you are dealing with publically funded institutions (for more information see, for example, www.nipo.org.za). If funding is required, funding agreements are of course essential.

Funding agreements could be in the form of a load, shareholding or even an outright grant.

Other things to consider include company structures, joint ventures, alliances, shareholder agreements, supply agreements.  IP policies, licensing and/or franchising.

Franchise agreements are specialised licence agreements and usually relate to the use of a trade mark as well a get-up or style associated with a business operation.  Franchise agreements may also regulate or pool franchisees to increase purchasing power.

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