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A number of our successful clients use licensing arrangements to manufacture and/or distribute their proprietary technology, processes, business formats or products around the globe.

In some situations licensing may be preferred to franchising for the distribution of goods and services. In some jurisdictions, franchising may entail significant expense in the establishment of the necessary legal structure, documentation and registration. A license arrangement may be established at the outset, followed by a full-blown franchise arrangement, once the product or service is established and retained earnings will fund the growth of the system. Issues of payment structure, control, and certain tax issues are crucial to the determination of whether a license arrangement will escape application of relevant franchise legislation.

Licensors require the right legal structure (including a consideration of the relative advantages of joint ventures, partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, corporations and franchises). A successful agreement also requires a superior negotiating team. A successful negotiation should make the parties want to do business with each other more than they wanted to before the negotiation began.

Licenses and royalty agreements must be clear, understood by all parties, and a mechanism for securing payment must be available to ensure that the licensor or royalty holder will receive payment. Various securitization techniques and knowledge banking instruments are a must. Excellent documentation avoids disputes, while providing the maximum of protection in the event a dispute does arise. Superior documentation is also a pre-requisite to obtaining financing: sub-standard agreements will not pass muster with investor’s counsel.

In some cases, we have established federal or provincial cooperatives in order to exempt a client’s system from the application of franchise laws. Our firm prepared the materials and negotiated the only Ministerial exemption to be granted to any cooperative under the current Alberta Franchises Act.

A single license agreement may contain a combination of manufacturing agreements, marketing agreements, distribution agreements, guarantees, supply agreements, security agreements, licensing of proprietary rights to products, licensing use of copyrights, trademarks, and trade names.

Our experience in negotiating license agreements on behalf of our clients ensures that our clients achieve their personal and monetary goals, are paid with cash money, and place our client in the most advantageous position in the event of a dispute.


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I am so thankful to have connected with John [Morrissey] who helped solve our chaotic legal difficulty last summer. I chose Siskinds simply through an online search for local Estate Law. John responded to my general inquiry in a timely manner and presented himself on the phone in a way that invoked confidence and trust. The expertise evident in that initial call was authentic.
John’s kindness, attention to detail, and great skill was so appreciated as we maneuvered a messy family situation. Through the long course of events, I could always count on John to be on top of things, never miss deadlines or important actions, keep me informed, explain procedures, and be patient with various oddities of the family situation. John’s professionalism, responsiveness, and expertise exceeded my expectations. John’s skill in dealing with the argumentative party was exceptional. I will also add, that both Reenya Koshaba and Heather Whitty were extremely helpful, thorough, and detailed in all their work and responses.
I will endorse both Siskinds and John Morrissey to anyone in need of legal assistance. I cannot express enough my gratitude and relief for John’s help in resolving this emotional family controversy. - D.W.

I would like to thank Maciek Piekosz and his amazing team at Siskinds. Thank you for all of your hard work and and supplying me with the best support team ever. You have a wonderful group of people working in your law office and I appreciate every one of you! I will always recommend the Siskinds team and Maciek in particular. I really appreciate how hard Maciek fought for me and will remember the kindness and empathy he has shown me. I am very grateful. - C.B.

Elena [Ashford] and Angela [Belair] have been immensely useful in my application towards permanent residence. Elena's first hand experience as an immigrant brings out a compassionate approach towards her clients, and she is great with her knowledge of the processes involved. She takes a great initiative in ensuring that her clients stay on top of the documents and provides incredible insights into how the application would be viewed by the immigration offices. My application had come to a stand still, and after reaching out to her, it proceeded to approval within a month. Thank you to Elena and her team for all the great work! - C.P.