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April 29, 2011

IP Due Diligence on License Agreements for Small Entrepreneurs

Bangkok Post, Corporate Counsellor Column

When a new entrepreneur starts to look for new opportunities, joining a franchise business is often one of the first business models to consider.   Small business ventures seeking a new product to excite the market and expand their customer base commonly enter into license agreements authorizing them to manufacture and/or sell inventive products. The number of Thai entrepreneurs who also are innovators is smaller than those who license technology from foreign innovators. Often, small Thai entrepreneurs eager to get such technology or intellectual property rights face an imbalance in power when negotiating contracts with foreign innovators. Some inexperienced entrepreneurs get locked into a contractual relationship without having first gained proper legal advice. Before proceeding on with negotiation on the key issues such as the rights granted, royalty payments, and termination, understanding the intellectual property rights involved in any licensing deal is the first step which needs to be completed.

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