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3 comments

Comment from: Ross [Member]  
Ross

As I often represented the licensee my preferred argument was whomever paid for the improvement owns it. If you license to me a Christmas tree, but I pay for the ornaments, I’m taking the ornaments with me when I’m done with the tree. If the licensor is willing to reimburse me for the cost of the ornaments, then he gets to keep them (or at least get a license to use them too). You offer up some good alternatives that work for various situations not amenable to a "whomever pays" rule that I favor.

11/19/14 @ 14:30
Comment from: Larry Schroepfer [Member]  

I certainly understand the "whomever pays" rule, and I’ve often seen it argued (and employed), but as a licensor, my argument to you would be that I’ve factored rights to your improvements into the license/royalty price that I’ve set. Using your analogy, I’d say that if I’m the one that gave you the platform (Christmas tree) without which the ornaments would have no value in the first place, I ought to be entitled to share in the value (ornaments) that I enabled. At at a very minimum, I shouldn’t be prevented from creating my own ornaments if you patent "ornaments" as a result of working with my tree!

All of which reinforces my belief that rights to improvements really is the hardest non-financial problem of all!

11/19/14 @ 16:46
Comment from: Lawrence Lau [Member]  
Lawrence Lau

How do you triage between fixtures, fittings and furnishings? Obviously I’m generalising here but let’s use the analogy of the original licensed/rented property being a apartment with a shared commons area. You can have a sub-tenant either add
- a new lamp fixed quasi-permanently to the wall
- lightbulb (temporary)
- or lampshade at whim

so you can have intangibles in similar categories. Classic example would be 3D games with engine plugins, user-custom items (which only work within game) and skins.

11/22/14 @ 10:18