Did you know that your Intellectual Property can get you money? Here’s how!


Most businesses create intellectual property to assert their rights to protect their brand. Fortunately, there is more to intellectual property than using it merely for IP rights. Understand that intellectual property is a set of legally recognized rights that includes trademark, copyright, and patents. The materials can be anything from books, music, logo, brand name, artwork, new innovation, software, photographs, etc. Intellectual property safeguards your creation from any unauthorized use – meaning, no one can use it without your permission. Consequently, it also allows you the right to license your intellectual property and you can charge a fee for it as well or allow for free use. The first step to secure your intellectual property is to identify whether it’s apt to go with the online trademark registration, copyright registration, or will it need a patenting right?

The sooner you realize that IP is no longer the mainstay of how business is done the better it is for you to capitalize on it. Ultimately, you can establish your own enterprise and use the IP rights optimally coupled with the ability to launch your business and earn profit from your registered idea.

Here are some ways you can leverage your intellectual property and start having a passive income in place.

Selling your IP by way of exploiting it

When you are looking to earn by selling your intellectual property you first need to create a product or service offerings line. Once you have this, you will have your created IP associated with the product to enable the selling of the product carrying a particular IP. You can do so using the IP-based agreements.

When you are still pitching the ideas to promoters, developers, and collaborators it is recommended to have a confidentiality agreement in place. Remember, such agreements are not watertight and you can use it to enforce against others who come up with the same idea in an independent manner. It is something that a patent holder will do.
Now, if things develop from an idea and there is a visible development of a business shaping up then you can protect the product along with the IP associated with it. Thereby, the intellectual property owner is “assigned” the right to use it for any financial gain.

Licensing your IP

Another way to encash intellectual property is by opting for license its use. For instance, you can someone else pay you the royalty for using your copyrighted music. Alternatively, you can choose the payment model and make it a one-time fee. It usually is the case for patent holders who’d democratize the patented product/process for a one-time fee.
Most of the software businesses use licensing as a way to generate a source of revenue through intellectual property. This is why you have the licensing agreement that you agree to when purchasing software. The licensing of intellectual property is also possible for the 2nd owner who can further leverage it to generate more revenue. There are many businesses that would buy the whole software bundle and license it on a per-user basis to generate revenue. For instance, Microsoft licensed resellers would partner with Microsoft and provide software licensing on behalf of the brand. Here, Microsoft, as well as the reseller, would earn through licensing.

There are plenty of other non-traditional IP revenue methods that every business can choose to explore

Tweaking your Existing IP

If you are having an existing IP then you can tweak it and sell it for profitability. It is mostly possible with the patents wherein the patent owner can make subtle changes and file for an improved patent. They usually build on the previous patent idea and turn it to something new. And this patent can then be used by way of leveraging it or licensing.

Franchisee Option

Franchising is a great way to let other businesses use your intellectual property. They will pay you the franchise royalty for using your brand name and product. It also a great way to expand your business if you have carved a reputation in your own domain. Note that rights of know-how remain with the franchisor and the same are protected under Indian Copyright Act 1957. Chances are, contractual remedies will always be available to franchisors even in case of the absence of statutory protection. It is possible to get hold of the detailed provisions in the franchise agreement when dealing with know-how protection.

Creating a Brand

A brand is not just about the logo. It is more than that. Whatever work you do with them under a particular brand name, it will earn a reputation in the market. Brand identity is a strong indicator of the work you do. Be it slogans, logo, the process, or patented innovation, the brand name earns a mileage every time the business earns. You can also market the patents to add more value to the brand and stay ahead of the competitors.

For instance, Audi ran a campaign for its A6 model that was advertised as having filed more patents than NASA for one of its space programs. Companies that mention patenting for its marketing activities are bound to create far more impact amongst the customers as compared to the competitors. The market and buyers would start considering them as the pioneers and the brand can leverage all the benefits it offers.


Choosing to sell your intellectual property demonstrates your willingness to leverage the Intellectual Property Rights in India through Copyright, Patent & Trademark to benefit from it. You can create a new, recurring or one time, revenue source for the business. Here are the ways through which you can earn rewards for your intellectual property –

• Getting a monthly, quarterly, or yearly fee from those using your intellectual property.

• Accepting the royalty payment by selling a product or service for which you have the IP. For example, selling music or allowing someone to use your creating.

• Using beneficiary payments or shares under the trust.

• You can also choose to accept non-monetary benefits in exchange for intellectual property. This could be anything – from getting the free lifetime supplies in exchange for allowing the usage right for products and services associated with your IP.