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Interested In Buying Intellectual Property? Things You Should Know

by Jamie Nichols

If your business involves the production of intellectual property and making a profit from it, you need to know the rules and procedures for procuring it. Not all producers of intellectual property place it into production. This may be due to a lack of money or time. In these cases, they can sell their intellectual property to someone who can put it into production. If you want to buy intellectual property, there are some things you need to know:

What Is Considered Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property is any item that is created by a person that is unknown to anyone else. This is generally a new item with nothing like it available for sale. Common examples of intellectual property include music, movies, writing, art, inventions, photographs, and other discoveries.

Why Would You Buy Intellectual Property?

Most people and companies opt to keep the rights to their own intellectual property to either place it into production or to prevent another person or company from producing it. However, there are times when a person or company may wish to sell it to someone who has the time and money to produce it. There are several parameters to intellectual property sales. Part of the deal may be for the owner to retain some rights or usage of the property. This is a very complex type of sale with a lot of legal components to it.

Who Owns the Intellectual Property After the Sale?

When you want to buy intellectual property, you have to thoroughly review the usage rights. One important part of the purchase is to determine whether or not the seller actually owns the property or has a license to use the intellectual property that is for sale. The process of determining these issues includes a full search of the property type to make sure there are no other similar items available. You should also research the owner's intellectual property ownership records to ensure they have the right to use the property after the sale. If there is any ownership of warranties for the intellectual property, you need to find this out as well. In addition, if the seller uses the intellectual property in some form or fashion for the production of a different product, that has to be discovered also.

You then have to outline any rules and make arrangements as to how the intellectual property can be used by the seller after the sale, if at all. If the seller wants to retain some rights to the intellectual property, you may want to arrange to retain a percentage of their profits from the work for a certain period of time. You should also make arrangements to determine their utilization of the intellectual property after it is sold to you. For example, you may prevent the seller from placing the intellectual property into a new production going forward but allow them to continue using it for current production. All of these details need to be worked out with a skilled business attorney to ensure the transaction is detailed, legal, and runs smoothly.

For more information about intellectual property, contact a business lawyer in your area.