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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Understand, your patent attorneys, but does an inventor always need to patent their work in order to license? It’s a great question. What do you think? I like it, and I’m gonna ask you the same thing on the trademark side, Matt, later, okay?

Fundamentally, as I was trained and know the law, in order to structure a contract around an asset to license it, yes, you do have to have that asset. You have to own it. So yes, you would have to have a patent in order to license something. I believe there are agreements for transferring know-how, okay? And know-how or knowledge without actually having an asset, but it’s not a license. A license is a very specific type of legal document that articulates what specific type of asset is being given under what time period. What are the catches, right? What are the repercussions for termination and enforcement of that license? So, long story short, yes, you would need a patent to license something.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at