IP Tech Knowledgy
The Essentials of a Trademark License
When any trademark owner allows another to use a trademark, even if the other is an affiliate, the transaction should be documented with a trademark license. The license can be extensive or bare bones, but it must always contain a quality control provision by which the owner can inspect the quality of the goods or services offered under the brand. The owner should also act to inspect the products/services during the course of the license. Quality of items offered in connected with a brand is the essence of trademark law. Without this provision, the trademark could be nullified. The owner obviously wants this quality control, but, the provision also benefits the licensee: a licensee is paying money to use a brand, and in many cases be an exclusive user in a particular market segment; that licensee wants the mark it is using to stay strong, so it should want the license to include necessary quality control provisions.