2 Ways to License Your Mobile App


Licensing mobile apps is a big business. Some mobile apps have become big brands, generating revenues from licensed merchandise. A prime example is Angry Birds, which has over 200 licensing partners.

If you go the licensing route, ensure your IP is protected. One option is to apply for a provisional patent. Before presenting your app, get a signed NDA.

When deciding how to license your mobile app, you have several options. A geographic mobile app license is an excellent strategy to expand into other countries. You can license to companies in each market or on a broader basis to one company for several markets.

A second strategy is to license your app to brand marketers or developers to offset the development and marketing costs. Companies often look for a quality app to reuse or re-brand under their brand. I have a client who used a variation of this “white label” license strategy to launch their new app into the automotive aftermarket industry.

When you’re ready to negotiate a deal, remember these crucial points. Make sure you are clear on exactly what rights the licensee will get. Do some due diligence on the licensee to ensure you can work with them. Before signing any licensing agreement, consult with an IP attorney. They will ensure your deal is structured to prevent future problems between you and your licensing partner.

Depending on your app, you could generate more revenue from licensing than app store sales. Licensing lets you control everything from usage terms (e.g., feature-based, time-limited) to operational aspects (e.g., activation and back-end integration). You can use licensing to launch your app or expand into new marketplaces by partnering with other marketers or developers who can take your app to the next level.

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