When owners of artwork, characters, trademarks or other properties think about licensing, they typically envision their properties being used on various types of merchandise. While such use is traditionally the center of a merchandise licensing program, merchandising properties are often capable of being licensed for use in other formats and media as well. Before appointing a licensing agent, the licensor and the agent should agree on the rights that the agent will be authorized to represent.

The list of potential rights includes the following:

Merchandising Rights: the right to use the property on all articles typically described as merchandise, including clothing, housewares, toys, paper products, jewelry and furniture.

Publishing Rights: the right to publish books, comic books, graphic novels, magazines or other print or digital publications that use or are based on the property.

Advertising/Promotional/ Premium Rights: the right to use the property, either alone or as represented on licensed products, for the purpose of advertising and promoting other products, or for advertising, promoting or endorsing a service or an event, including the right to use licensed products as premiums or “give-aways” in connection with any other product, service or event.

Media and Entertainment Rights: the right to use the property for films, home videos, television and radio programs, internet programs, music and music videos and live performances on stage or at malls, fairs or theme parks.

Some agents are capable of representing all of the above rights. However, others may only have experience representing merchandising rights, and may lack the desire, contacts or background to be effective in representing any of the other rights. In these situations, the licensor should limit the agent’s authority, and, if necessary, should seek out additional agents who can adequately represent the other rights.