License denotes authorization and is generally in the form of a document certifying the licensee with permission to commit a certain act.

Typically, licenses are required for acts that may require control from the authorities and results in all such activities occurring with their knowledge. The license itself may also require a fee or some sort of a qualifying test.

Recognizing the players

A license is provided by a “licensor” to the requesting party or “licensee” and the document itself represents an understanding between these two players.

Elements of a License

Licenses are therefore granted by licensors, to allow the licensee the use of a product, service or idea under the Copyright Infringement Law. It also dictates the nature and duration of this use through the following;

  1. A term defines the period to which a license applies. Licenses are time-bound so that the licensor can benefit if the license become more valuable
  2. Territory puts geographic limits on the authorization to use the product

Without a license, a user of an unlicensed product or service leaves themselves open to litigation, if the owner of the product is inclined to fight for their just dues. Intellectual property in particular has received a lot of attention in recent history due to changing technologies and business dynamics and as a result, licensing has been inducted as a distinct stream in the subject of law.

Types of Licenses

In software licensing users are allowed to install and use software on their computers provided they buy the license for its use, which is then proven through a code inputted by the user. Once this code is entered into the system, the user can operate the software within the parameters set by the license.

Other kinds of licenses include patent licenses, trademark and brand licenses, artwork and character licensing and licensing in the academic field. Each of these types of licenses represents an authorization from the licensors end to use a unique product, service or idea, such as a particular trademark or copy and distribute a piece of art.