Getting a License — Why Bother?

Many companies believe that because the source code of a technology can be accessed at virtually no charge, they can integrate the technology in their products without considering intellectual property. They argue that since they possess the code itself, they certainly have the right to use the technology.

However, in most cases a licensing agreement with the rightful owners of the corresponding intellectual property for the solutions they bring to market is required to legitimately integrate and use core enabling technologies such as speech and audio codecs. The onus is on solution providers to ensure that they have attained appropriate and full rights to integrate and deploy the technologies comprising their offerings.

Consider Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
Contributors to technology standards invest millions of dollars not only for the sake of scientific progress but also in expectation of a return on their investment. Their R&D efforts are partially driven by the anticipation that, one day, the technologies they invent will be widely adopted by the industry and become a source of revenue from intellectual property. So it should come as no surprise that if their technologies are used without the proper acquisition of rights, patent owners may decide to take legal action against unlicensed users.

Gain a Competitive Advantage
Acquiring a license for the use of a patented technology provides a tremendous competitive advantage to licensees, who gain the ability to advertise that their products are indemnified — which may not be the case for the competition. This advantage could be decisive for potential customers who are concerned with proper legal coverage and product quality.

Add Financial Value
Legal considerations aside, a license should also be recognized as a valuable asset. For example, in the case of an IPO or a merger, holding the proper rights to use third-party technologies could be as important as the products themselves. What’s more, licensing agreements may be used for cross-licensing purposes, as a way to secure the authorization to use other technologies. And a licensing agreement may also provide the right to use its associated patents in other products.

Enhance Your Global Image
In today’s industry, the image and reputation of a company are often regarded as significant as its products. When quality and the transparency are considered as important criteria for doing business, holding the rights to use third-party patents is an essential component of a strong image.

Find out more
For details on codecs with IPR licensed by VoiceAge, click a codec name in the side menu at the top of this page.

For licensing IPR, please contact licensing@voiceage.com.

 

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