Kazachok Licensing Forum – Paris,  April 2010

We were in Paris for business meetings which fortunately overlapped with Kazachok Licensing Forum.  I therefore planned to attend and to be sure to hear Ira Mayer, Publisher, The Licensing Letter speak. Of course, his office is down the block from ours in NYC but it’s so much more fun to get together in different locales!

Ira presented 3 industry challenges, which were the economy, retail infrastructure and media infrastructure; and 7 growth opportunities which are:  Geographic, sub-agenting, event licensing, on-demand production, DTR and retail exclusives, the e-world, and  Innovation.  I found all of what Ira presented to be worthwhile and relevant. 

I particularly liked what he had to say about Innovation:  “But innovation in licensing isn’t just about new properties and new products.  And this is perhaps the biggest growth opportunity of all, the one that will lead to a healthier, more vigorous, and expansive licensing business:  Innovation is critical in deal-making too.”  Ira emphasized that flexibility is a key component of innovation with respect to how we  approach deals.  In one of my blogs on licensing, I point out ‘ flexibility ‘as an advantage.  MODA adheres to the foundation of licensing which is leveraging an intangible asset but we do not limit ourselves to a rigid structure.  For example, when we represented a patent for a client there were deals in specific countries where a royalty on sales didn’t make as much sense as flat-fee purchase of the technology.  The licensee still had contractual obligations to the licensor including the proper use of the brand.

 Ira closed his remarks citing that innovation in deal-making is a formula for success. We can’t agree more.   

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