Licensing Law for Beginners: #LX11 Licensing International Expo 2011, Day 1

My day started off with ease, albeit quite early. I made it to the airport safe and when I boarded the plane to head to Las Vegas (Vegas), there were signs to indicate to me that this was going to be a terrific trip. On the plane, I was seated between two employees of the popular candy brand Jelly beans. One of the employees, the one seated to my right was Connie Simoni, Executive Administrative Assistant for Jelly Belly’s Fairfield, California office was also on her way to the Licensing Expo. In her capacity, she has been involved, for 11years now, with the company’s intellectual property matters. Upon arrival in Vegas, I was able to catch the second to the last seminar for the day, “Licensing Law for Beginners.”

When I arrived, I noticed the seminar was taught by Jed Ferdinand, Sam Khare and Andrew Koski. I caught more of the tail end of the seminar. What a fabulous speaker Khare was. Very concise, to the point and organized as he moved from one thought to another. Khare stressed the need for anyone looking to become a licensor to do the leg work.

He stressed it wasn’t about licensing your brand and entering into legal agreements but rather doing the critical leg work. “Your lawyer is only as good as the facts you give,” (to him or her) he stressed to the audience. “Licensing boils down to making money. How do you make the money? Work smarter and understand what it means to be a brand owner” was among the great pieces of advice Khare offered. Right after Khare, Andrew Koski spoke. His focus was on the actual financing terms in a licensing agreement. He talked about: the provisions, the contract consideration, the definition of the terms. He addressed the right to audit, among many terms.

“What did you think about the seminar,” I asked one of the female attendees after the panel finished presenting. “I liked it a lot. I learned a lot,” was her response. I did a little chat with my colleagues who presented and then it was off to interview a “rock star” lawyer colleague of mine. How interview was amazing and I will share with you all the interview and the subsequent party/mixer.

Here’s a gist of the presentation that I placed on twitter earlier today. My twitter handle is @uduaklaw, so be sure to follow if you would like to stay abreast of all the happenings at the conference.

UDUAKLAW Now checking out Licensing Law for Beginners. Talk on patents n licensing. Shoe designers now using patent law 4 protection #LX11

UDUAKLAW Trademark (TM) law defined. Trademark does not give you a monopoly, so don’t get it twisted.#LX11 u don’t have to register trademark

UDUAKLAW Hard to do business in licensing industry if your TM not registered. #LX11

UDUAKLAW TM can be filed with USPTO office. If u intend to use but if u are not ready yet, file an intent to use. LX11

UDUAKLAW Celebrity licensing is BIG since the last 5yrs. Most do not make much money except via mass market but they keep doing it. LX11

UDUAKLAW Have flexible margins to accomodate spikes. Get your finances right. Understand ur material sourcing,Ur supply chain . . .#LX11

UDUAKLAW Will come back to TM but getting into more licensing stuff. #LX11

UDUAKLAW Licensing boils down to making money. How do you make the money? Work smarter n understand what it means to be a brand owner.#LX11

UDUAKLAW Do the leg work so you do not have a bad legal relationship n breach ur contract. Know ur business. Understand ur cash flow. #LX11

UDUAKLAW Also understand ur core product competence, product development and team.

UDUAKLAW Do not try to too much at once. Create a brand that has legs with longevity #LX11

UDUAKLAW Do not try to do too much!

UDUAKLAW Get your manufacturing q n a together. When it comes to law, get your tm done right n other legal protections 4 ur business.#LX11

UDUAKLAW By all means register ur trademark in China. Many things made in China these days. Get ur package,sales n customers.#LX11

UDUAKLAW Trademark rights r country specific. For USA lawyers reading this, u can file trademark in 80 countries,just a click away.

UDUAKLAW You need to be profitable. Folks on the legal end, really focus on the terms in agreement and understand what u sign. #LX11

UDUAKLAW Money is tight for all. Investors want to see dat u have a clear plan and how it will make them money. Enthusiasm not enough. #LX11

UDUAKLAW A big emphasis on managing the people you hire. Bottom line, know ur business model well before attempting to licensing. #LX11