Can You Make Money Licensing Any Type of IP?

Intellectual property covers a wide range of disciplines. Can you make money licensing intellectual property of almost any kind? How can I do this?

You can make money licensing all types of intellectual property. That includes copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets. How you make money with it depends on what you do to bring it into the market.

For example, licensing rights to a market-ready IP would be a good strategy for a start-up company. You then focus your resources on creating your business model and producing and marketing it, either as a product or service. You get into the market faster, with lower risk and cost.

A second strategy is a master licensing deal, where you acquire the master licensing rights and sub-license them to other companies. You make money by using the IP and re-licensing or licensing it out to different product categories. You make money from direct sales and the royalties paid by sub-licensees.

Suppose you come across inventors or companies unfamiliar with licensing and want to use it to make money with their IP. In that case, a third option is to act as an intermediary, such as a licensing agent or patent broker. You find the licensing partners and get paid for putting the deal together.

As far as the kinds of intellectual property, it’s an unlimited resource available to every type of industry, from consumer products to very complex nanotechnologies and everything in between. It’s a question of your experience, ability, and resources.

Got a question about licensing? Send an email to, and I’ll answer it in a future post.

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