Here is a list of terms commonly used within the licensing industry.

An upfront payment from the licensee to the licensor (part of the guarantee) normally paid on signature of contract.


Brand Extension:
Taking the core equities and name of a branded product and transferring them to a different product in the same market sector.


The right to copy or reproduce. Originally set up to protect the copying of literacy, dramatic, musical or artistic work, copyright concerns protecting the expression of an idea, rather than the idea itself. Normally lies with the creator of the work.


‘Fake’ products or services that replicate or mimic the originals in design and look.


Distribution channel:
The types of sales outlets or avenues through which the licensed product or service will be sold. They may include retail outlets such as department or specialist stores, tv or on-line shopping networks, third party advisors or associated groups and direct response mechanisms such as direct mail or catalogues.


A minimum fee or level of remuneration that has to be paid by the licensee to the licensor, irrelevant of product or service sales.


Usually the breach or contravention of an entity’s rights. This may include counterfeit products, unauthorised usage or reproduction of properties.


The manufacturer or distributor of a product or service that has purchased use of a license to sell products to retailers. Major retailers can also be licensees as they often sign license agreements directly with licensors.


Licensed product:
A product that incorporates a licensed property.


Licensed territory:
The geographic region in which the license can be used.


The owner of the licensed property or brand. E.g. Bugs Bunny is owned by Warner Bros, so Warner Bros is the licensor of Bugs Bunny.


Licensing Agent:
A company or individual that handles the licensing rights on behalf of a licensor. A typical contract with an agent may run for 3 to 5 years covering either single or multiple territories.


Passing off:
UK colloquial for ‘unfair competition’. Usually the use of similar marks or visualisation that mimics or causes confusion with another established or protected product.


Product liability insurance:
Insurance against prosecution in the event of the misperformance and subsequent damages caused by the use of a product.


Property (or Intellectual Property):
The term for the brands or items that are licensed. These may be in the form of a brand name or logo, likeness, character, artwork, design, sporting or other event, personality or phrase.


Point of sale material:
Promotional or other literature and communication tools in or around the retail outlet or environment.


Qualitative research:
A type of research that involves seeking in depth information about a subject, often looking at attitudes, perceptions and usage behaviour. Normally conducted with small groups of people.


Quantitative research:
A type of research that seeks to quantify (support with numbers) opinions, assumptions or behaviour. Methodologies may include questionnaires, telephone or other polls.


The organisation or outlet that sells the product or service to the trade or end consumer.


The remuneration paid by the licensee to the licensor for use of the licensed property. Normally in the format of an agreed percentage on sales and payable quarterly.


Sub licensee:
Additonal licensee(manufacturer/supplier)appointed by the principal licensee.


Support companies:
Organisations or individuals that provide services to the licensing industry, which may include: lawyers, accountants, promotions agencies, designers and consultants.


“any sign capable of being represented graphically, which is capable of distinguishing goods or services of one undertaking from another” UK Trade Marks Act 1994