Negotiating is about coming to an agreement for a long-term relationship with your licensing partners. The goal is to make it a win-win for both of you. At the end, you and your licensing partner must feel it’s a win-win situation so it leaves you both motivated about the licensing deal.
Your negotiation actually begins once you make contact with your licensing partner. It starts by sharing information, and continues with back and forth discussions. Sometimes it’s a short process, in other cases, it’s lengthy. Many of the licensing deals I’ve negotiated averaged about 3 months. The longest took 2 years.
Before starting your negotiations, know what you want and what you’re willing to give on. Consider using a third party, such as a licensing agent or attorney. They’re more objective, have more negotiating experience, and most important, they’ll keep you out of trouble.
One of the best ways to learn about a successful negotiation is to be part of it.
I did an interview with Andrew Berger, an intellectual property attorney with the New York firm of Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP. He’s a legal IP expert with lot’s of experience negotiating licensing deals.
As part of this interview, we did a quick role play. We negotiated a deal for a new kids character, the Mighty Marshmallow Monsters. After the role play, we discussed the negotiation, pointing out some of the key issues and how to resolve them.
Here’s what you’ll learn during this interview:
– You’ll hear our discussion on product rights, distribution channels, and licensee capabilities.
– The benefits of using a third party negotiator and why it’s a good negotiating tactic.
– Tips on negotiating strategies including asking the right questions, knowing when to walk and making the deal work for both partners.
The goal at the end of the licensing negotiations is to walk away with a clear understanding of all the terms and a win-win agreement for both partners.
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