The ownership of certain types of intellectual property can only be transferred by a properly drafted written agreement. Without one, the transfer may not be effective and you could become involved in a costly dispute with your buyer. That is why it is essential that if you are selling intellectual property, you involve a specialist lawyer with the right expertise and experience.
It is equally important to be sure you have all the rights that you intend to sell. For example, if you have paid someone else to write a smartphone app for you and you then decide to sell that app on to someone else, you may not actually own the intellectual property rights in the app, unless you have the correct agreement in place with the developer.
It is common for intellectual property transfer agreements - known as assignment agreements - to include guarantees to protect the buyer. For example, they may require you to guarantee that you own the intellectual property rights that you are selling and that you will reimburse any losses suffered by the buyer if someone else later claims that the intellectual property rights that you have sold infringe their own rights. It is vital that any such provisions are properly considered and limited in scope, as an infringement claim could potentially come from anywhere in the world. You may also be required to agree not to create anything in the future that competes with what you are selling to the buyer.
Without expert legal advice, it is all too easy to expose your business to future claims from your buyer. At Star Legal, we have the experience to advise you through all the stages of an intellectual property rights transaction, whether you are are selling a trade mark, patent or domain name, or the rights to a book, software or anything else. Taking advice early on is a good idea, and our intellectual property lawyers can help you ensure that you get off to the right start. We can also prepare or review any assignment agreement, and negotiate it on your behalf with your buyer or their advisers.
If you need support through the sale of intellectual property, contact us today.
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As always, a fantastic service from Stephen and his team at Star Legal. The speed with which a complex context can be absorbed so that advice can be given is exemplary. Over the past years we’ve built a really productive working relationship, and I’d have no hesitation in recommending Stephen and his team.
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