Archive for the ‘Intellectual Property & Nonprofits’ Category

Intellectual Property Could Provide Revenue to Non-Profits

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

What do non-profits have to do with intellectual property? A lot, according to IP lawyer Andrew Eisenberg from Lee & Hayes, PLLC. He recently presented a webinar, “Intellectual Property as an Intellectual Asset”, for TeamNFP customers and business partners.

The goal of the webinar was to help non-profits recognize the hidden value and potential revenue sources in their copyrights, trademarks, and patents.  Mr. Eisenberg provided excellent examples including ones from his experience of working for a for-profit that had a non-profit foundation that used its IP to provide hearing aids to the hearing-impaired.

Ways to Take Advantage of Copyrights, Trademarks, & Patents

As Eisenberg explained, copyrights are creative expressions. Many non-profits create training and other management materials or processes in order to accomplish their mission that might also have use for other non-profits or for-profits. In many cases, the copyright is a protection against someone taking and using these without permission or compensation. Sometimes, non-profits get donations such as paintings. Many don’t know that if the donation includes the copyright, the non-profit can license the right to others to make copies (e.g. prints or lithographs).

Trademarks are what Eisenberg calls “identifiers in commerce”. There is a lot of goodwill and recognition value of these trademarks. It makes good monetary sense to trademark what the non-profit can and sometimes go to the expense of registering a trademark not only to protect it but also to generate income. Colleges and universities use these extensively to generate income from for profits that want to license the use of trademarked names and images on products and apparel they sell.  Names of special events created by a non-profit (for example runs, dinners, special events and scavenger hunts) could also be licensed and so could their images.

Patents are granted to innovations that are new, useful, and non obvious. Eisenberg used the example of the Alfred Mann Foundation. It currently holds over 140 US patents that it hopes to license or sell the rights to in order to commercialize them and use royalties to fund further work.

Good News

The good news is that there are firms that help non-profits with IP to find revenue from them and protect their rights. Attorneys can help a non-profit set up licensing agreements and protect their merchandising rights. There are also aggregators that buy and resell IP such as EMI and RPX.

Then, there are the banks. According to Eisenberg, they generally don’t extend credit for IP but this is changing a little. Some banks extend a revolving line of credit or grant a new loan if the non-profit’s intellectual property assets are valued and insured.

For more information on this topic, please contact Andrew Eisenberg directly by email or by calling 512.456.5140.

Using IP to Benefit Your NonProfit

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

ome nonprofits are using intellectual property (IP) as fundraising sources or collateral for loans. Others are having to defend themselves against people or organizations using or misusing items that belong to the nonprofit. CEOs and CFOs need to understand how to use patents, copyrights and trademarks to benefit their nonprofit and how to protect their IP properly. Andrew Eisenberg, intellectual property lawyer with Lee & Hayes, will discuss the basics of each kind of intellectual property and how and when to use them. Join us Tuesday, July 22 at 3pm CDT. Free but please RSVP.

Originally presented: July 2014

Slides IP For Nonprofits