Technology licensing is a large and important business activity for those companies and institutions that generate technology. In this column, we always feature technologies available for license, mainly from universities, but many companies, large and small, utilize technology licensing to generate signifi cant income. What is surprising is that technology licensing is not the major segment of the licensing business. According to an article by Weston Anson1 in a Trademark World article, “the corporate trademark/brand licensing segment is now the largest segment of the licensing industry and has had the greatest and most consistent growth over the last decade.” We are all familiar with trademarks as we see them everywhere we are exposed to advertising or branded products. This article will try to provide an understanding of what constitutes a trademark, how you get them and how to value and use them.
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, design, sound or color, or combinations of these that identifi es and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. In brief, a trademark is almost anything that identifies the source of the goods or services.