How do you license a patent in Japan?

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One of the most effective ways to successfully monetize a patent is to license it to another party.  In exchange for a royalty or set fee, a third party can make or sell products that include the patented invention.  There are two main types of licenses in Japan: Exclusive Licenses and Non-Exclusive Licenses.

Exclusive licenses grant the licensee the exclusive privilege to use the patent within Japan.  This usually means that even the owner of the patent is prevented from making use of the patent until the license expires.  Exclusive licenses basically convey a monopoly to the licensee and therefore can come with very high license fees.  Exclusive licenses should be registered with the Japanese government.

Non-exclusive licenses may be granted to multiple parties, giving each the same power to use the patent.  Non-exclusive licenses are not as valuable as an exclusive license but the patent holder can make up for this by entering into many license agreements and collecting fees from multiple licensees.

If you have a question about licensing your patents please contact our office for a legal consultation.