Ultimate Guide to Licensing Examples and Licensing Business Model

Licensing Examples and Understanding Licensing Business Model – Licensing vs Franchising, Types of Licensing, Brand Licensing Examples, Licensing Agreement

Licensing Business Model
Licensing Business Model

Thank you for your emails, I really appreciate it. And Really Sorry For such a long break. I had a few things (like improving my reading speed from 300wpm to 700+wpm and in the dry run read 4 books 🙂 read this book and this one (in that sequence) if you also want an awesome reading speed) to take care off in the meanwhile thus MIA. I will compensate for this absence with this Monster Post (5,000+ words and counting)… Licensing Business Model.

Licensing business model is the favorite business model of the USA. As far as Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary and Lori Greiner are concerned it is their most favorite and second favorite deal to do respectively. In this licensing business model, the person (company) who invents/creates the product (called the licensor) doesn’t do anything but mint money (yes, if done effectively) and the person (company) who asks for the EXCLUSIVE rights (called the licensee) to market this product (and manufacture in most cases) does everything to make the product a hit.

In the licensing business model, As a monetary compensation for allowing the licensee to use their intellectual property (works fantastically well if patented), the licensor will receive a recurring income (called royalty) for every unit sold. The vehicle under the licensing business model through which the licensor acquires the right to use the IP, from the licensee is called a licensing agreement, and it is the basis for the licensing business model.

What is Licensing?

What is Licensing
What is Licensing

If you are still grappling with licensing meaning or wondering what is licensing business model then you should read this little CONVERSATION of Licensing Examples slowly:

Inventor (I) : I am fed up since there is not a single rocking chair that I can control while staying still. Idea! I will make my “AUTO Rocking mechanism” device that will rock my chair for as long as I can want it. (Fast Forward 2 months later) Yes! My Auto Rocking device is ready and I love it. But I don’t want to get into selling this and doing the legwork, what should I do so that everyone who loves sitting in a rocking chair can get this??? Hmm! Let’s meet some sharks over the weekend and discuss this licensing business model.

Shark (S) : Hi (I), ….. That is an interesting development and I will help you to sell this without you having to sell it actually. What we will do is we will “LICENSE” this technology (thus called licensing business model) to the biggest (or anyone who can sell this in large volumes) chair making company in the world and let them sell this ALONG WITH (OR) EMBEDDED WITHIN the rocking chair. How does this licensing business model sound (I)?

(I) : That sounds great, but what is licensing business model exactly? What do we have to do and how much will I stand to make out of this licensing business model?

(S) : I what is Licensing business model is letting go of all the operations required to run manufacture, manage and market your inventions to a large company who can do it at a lesser cost and sell more than you can ever. Let’s meet them and discuss our licensing business model in detail with them.

Large Company (L) : Hello (S) and (I) ………… This technology really sounds great and we will be keen to build this as a part of the chair itself (for new chairs) and sell this as an add-on for the old chairs that people have. For this licensing business model, we need a Technology Licensing Agreement with you. Under that licensing agreement Per unit sold we will pay you 1$ (net of taxes) and our projection is about 5000 units (as a part of the chair) and 5000 units (as add-ons) every month (for next 1 year), and the royalty for next year onward will be minimum 10,000$ every month…

(S) & (I) : Yes, this sounds perfect (L) we could not have expected a better licensing business model with anyone else and let’s close this licensing agreement quickly and start developing this together.

(L) : Done.

What is Licensing? – Definition and Variables

A legal business arrangement in which one company (licensor) gives another company (licensee) permission to manufacture, manage and market its product for a specified payment for a specified time frame. Licensing business model lets you instantly tap into the existing production, distribution facilities and marketing muscle that larger companies may have spent decades and billions of dollars building. You get a percentage of the sale revenue from products sold under your license. Licensing business model fees typically amount to a small percentage of the sales price but can add up quickly given the existing customer base of the large company.

Variables of licensing business model can be :

  • Royalty Payments under licensing business model:
    • Either a Percentage of the SALE Value (1%) or
    • Fixed Amount Per Unit (1$ per unit) Sold (irrespective of the future sale value)
    • Fixed Upfront amount + either of the above two
  • The time frame of Royalty under licensing business model:
    • Until accumulation of a specified money value (for e.g. you will receive royalty until you amass 1$ million in money value) or
    • Time Bound (you will royalty until 5 years from the date of licensing agreement)
    • Combo of above two royalty payments until you receive $1 million or 5 years from the date of licensing agreement (whichever is earlier)
  • Exclusivity under licensing business model:
    • Geographical exclusivity (for e.g. only in the USA)
    • Time-bound : for 5 years from the date of licensing agreement
    • Non-exclusive : granted to all similar or complimentary licensees
    • Lifetime
  • Risk vs Responsibility oflicensing business model :
    • Manage with Licensor, Manufacture, and Market with Licensee
    • Conditional : If not achieved sale of X within time period P, agreement terminates or
    • No risk, responsibility with Licensor (most common)

What is Licensing? – A Licensee’s Perspective

For a Licensee, a large company, a small add-on or a component to their existing product line is a huge thing to consider because of the customer stickiness it creates.

Imagine this: How many people are actually frustrated with daily use existing products and some or the other inventor actually has these solutions with them. Large companies aggressively try to poach these licensors to them because they want their daily use products to be AWESOME as NEW…

Another major thing to consider here is that the cost involved in R&D and prototyping a new product that the licensor has already done for them, the sooner they go to market with that product the lesser the loss in sales (foregone revenue, opportunity cost + cost of development) and thus higher the margins.

Large corporations have a dedicated department for Licensing that actively scouts new products and technologies to license and increase the sales. Alternatively, these large corporations can themselves be the Licensors and have departments scoring deals to increase sales by driving licensing agreements with other large corporations (for e.g. Google Maps licensed to Uber/Ola etc.).

Licensing Meaning

Licensing Meaning
Licensing Meaning

Do you guys love Minions? They are quite popular with girls and kids. And since the release of despicable me, their popularity has been hitting the roof. They are the anchor licensing product from the Comcast (NBC Universal) Family.

In the above image you can see the girl sporting the Minion Branded T-Shirt. This is the most common type of brand licensing that you will see i.e. apparel and accessories. You can see T-shirts, Backpacks, Mobile Cases etc.

Licensing Meaning – What does it mean for Large Studios?

Licensing means EVERYTHING for large content driven studios. Take for e.g. Walt Disney the largest licensing company in the world (with XX% of the global brand licensing revenues solely belonging to Walt Disney) controlling the children section (gold mine for licensed apparel companies) from its Disney characters (Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck etc.) and Young Adult to Adult category with Star Wars Franchise, Marvel Studio Franchise (Yes, Marvel belongs to Walt Disney) etc.

The Walt Disney Company brings its stories and characters to life for families and fans of all ages through innovative products and experience. The most anticipated product launch was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Hundreds of products launched on Sept. 4, 2015, with a global event dubbed Force Friday that drew more than 130,000 fans standing in line for midnight store openings. This is the power of strong and cult band following (Remember Iron Man vs. Captain America in Civil War??)

Licensing Meaning – To Potential Licensees?

Licensing does not only appeal to large companies, it appeals to smaller niche manufacturers as well. Licensing Business Model is one of the best business models that can enhance your overall business value by partnering with a large name brand.

Consider this, you are not one of those Harvard or Stanford Hotshots but have managed to become the largest slipper manufacturer in the USA with diligent efforts. You are looking for your next hot design for slippers which no one has ever achieved and brought to market. You go trend spotting and find out that “Shrek” (one of the brand properties of DreamWorks studios) faced slippers are not there in the market at all (because of the size and shape of Shrek, it is nearly impossible to forge Shrek into any merchandise/accessories etc.) thus you set your sights on the same.

After you’ve perfected the design of Shrek faced slippers you approach DreamWorks for granting you the license on the same. After deliberations (the company also wants a perfectly designed slipper, without which they will lose their brand credibility in the market if Shrek’s face doesn’t come out properly), they decide to give you the exclusive license to market Shrek faced slippers…. Just imagine the kind of money that this thing will make….

Licensing Business Model

Licensing Business Model is one of the most primitive yet advanced business model example out there. The unit economics for the licensor is off the charts (100% licensed out) and they can continue their focus on developing more such products.

Not every inventor, scientist, or engineer is fit to be a great businessperson, Yes that’s true. Thus they may be better off deploying a licensing business model rather than a traditional business model for monetizing their intellectual property. Licensing puts the burden of commercializing your IP on somebody else’s shoulders.

Your IP can be put to Business by evaluating:

  • If the technology or other intellectual property can be protected by a patent, copyright, trademark, or trade secret in order to prevent other people from using it without consent and monetary value exchange.
  • The LTV (lifetime value) of the product/tech till which the company can assume incremental sales because of the innovative product – IP has the shelf life of a Banana – Bill Gates 🙂
  • Barrier to entry for competitors : Whether or not the competitor has this or can it be easily acquired/developed

In licensing business model, inventor develops an innovative product and then protects that innovation through a patent, copyright, trademark, or trade secret, and thus creates intellectual property. The inventor – the owner of the intellectual property – then licenses the innovation or technology to a second party whose responsibility it is to commercialize the innovation. As compensation for allowing another party to use its intellectual property, the licensor will receive a royalty.

Licensing Business Model

Licensing Business Model can be of two modes for any one, be it a large company like Marvel, Coke, Calvin Klein etc. or small ones. The two basic modes are licensing out and licensing in. A Large company like Marvel will “License Out” its brand names, character names, images etc. but will “License In” content from publishers about new comics and new shows and movies.

On the other hand, a small company/individual will “License In” DC and its brand names to manufacture a unique product with the branding and image of Bat Man and at the same time can “License Out” his extremely efficient “Washing Plan Patent” to Coca Cola Company.

Licensing vs Franchising


Licensing vs Franchising
Licensing vs Franchising

In a typical licensing agreement, the licensor grants the licensee the right to product and sell goods, apply a brand name or trademark, or use patented technology owned by the licensor, in exchange for payments to the licensor paid by the licensee for use of such right.

In a franchising agreement, the franchisor, apart from the obvious licensing, also offers know-how and access to a business system in addition to branding, marketing support and pre-built products offered by the franchisor against a similar upfront + recurring fee model.

Licensing vs Franchising

Licencing Franchising
Operational Control A Licensor usually has little to no operational control as to how a licensee markets and distributes or utilises the licensed product A franchisor usually has tighter operational controls and prescribes (with the use of an operations manual) how a franchisee operates their franchised business
Training and Support Training and support is usually limited to product knowledge. Franchisor offers extensive training on operating of the business as a whole. Ongoing support is also offered and usually takes the form of a monthly visit from a franchisor representative.
Fees Ongoing license fee usually payable Initial and ongoing franchise fees payable:

Upfront franchise fee & Recurring monthly rev-share

Geographical restrictions May or May not be Mostly there are geographical restrictions like National / State / City levels.

Licensing Advantages and Disadvantages

Licensing Advantages and Disadvantages
Licensing Advantages and Disadvantages

Licensing Advantages and Disadvantages are two sides of the same coin, for people must think how can such a wonder licensing business model can have disadvantages… But like every other business model out there, licensing has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, they are listed out below.

Licensing Advantages and Disadvantages – For Licensor

Licensor Licensing Advantages, the Licensor:

  • does not have to finance the commercialization process.
  • can focus all of his energies on the next innovation.
  • avoids the need to create and operate a company.
  • will not have to build and manage a commercialization team.
  • will be protected from product liability issues if the licensing agreement is properly written.
  • retains ownership of the intellectual property.
  • The product will most likely get to market faster because a larger, more experienced company is handling the commercialization.
  • The product may reach more markets if the licensee is a large, well-funded enterprise.
  • Licensing revenue tends to be high-margin, with almost all the fees from licensing flowing straight to the bottom line

Licensor Licensing Dis-Advantages, the Licensor:

  • has to settle for a smaller piece of the pie because the licensee may charge as per their will
  • might fall liable for damages if the licensing agreement has not been written properly
  • The product may fail irreparably because of the ill-execution of the licensee

Licensing Advantages and Disadvantages – For Licensee

Licensee Licensing Advantages:

  • Choice of vast number of Licensors to choose from
  • No need to re-invent the wheel and take the invented product and launch
  • Amortized cost of R&D in the form of royalties to Licensor
  • Established Brand Name of the Licensor (E.g.Marvel’s)

Licensee Licensing disadvantages:

  • Product may not, at all click in the licensed market
  • Licensee may be at Licensor’s mercy if the licensing agreement has not been written properly
  • Any damage to Licensor’s brand image will be directly impacting the licensee’s business model

Types of Licensing

Types of Licensing
Types of Licensing

A license is simply put the right to do or to use something. The word derived from Latin, means “permission,” thus implying that a license is given by a party who controls something to another.

Licenses divide into three basic types:

  1. the right or permission to carry out an activity otherwise regulated or prohibited by the government; [ We will not be discussing this in detail here, e.g. are FDA, Driving, Incorporation etc.]
  2. the right to use a name, image, or representation (including a brand) in packaging, promotion, signage, marketing, and similar contexts; and
  3. the right to use and apply proprietary know-how, whether patented or not, for any legal purpose, including its integral embodiment in products.

The last two are of importance and are the main licensing we are concerned with here in this post. Below are the various types of licensing and their sub-categories

Types of Licensing – Based on Licensing Agreement Type

  1. Number of Licensors:
    • Exclusive: An exclusive license when granted, the licensor agrees (under contract) that he will neither give the right to use the “licensed object” to any third party nor use the right on his own.
    • Non-exclusive: A non-exclusive (single) license does not limit the licensor of the licensed object in using, or dealing with, the licensed object in any way. The licensor may grant the same license to any third party and may also use the licensed object himself for financial gains.
    • Sole License: The licensor must not grant the same license to third parties; however, he may use the intangible asset in question himself.
  2. Inclusions of the Licensing Agreement:
    • Clean License: A clean license agreement governs only the license itself – vanilla blanket rights to do whatever the licensee needs to do in order to take the product to market and SELL.
    • Mixed License: In addition to vanilla licensing arrangements, a mixed license agreement contains other license related arrangements like the involvement of Licensor in certain things which require their assistance (intellectually, Tech set up etc.)
    • Master License or Associated License: An associated license agreement allows to provide the use of further intangible assets (e.g. trademarks, industrial designs, etc.)

  3. Cross-Licensing: A cross-licensing agreement is a contract between two or more parties where each party grants rights to their intellectual property to the other parties. Each of the parties will be both, Licensor and Licensee to each other. This is done to ensure the combined entity is more powerful than the individual entities and can’t survive or make no use of the license (of the other party) on its own.

  4. Usage of Owned Marks: Licenses can be distinguished by types of “MARKS” the use – It can be either of patents, trademarks, industrial designs or commercial secrets. With some industrial rights, licenses are specifically excluded (collective trademarks or badges of product origin or geographical indication).

  5. Sublicense A sublicense is a transfer of the rights given by the Licensor to smaller third parties and getting them to either fulfil for or compete with the licensor.

Types of Licensing – Basis the Licensed Object

  1. Art: Art Licensing governs the license required to use, commercially distribute the various forms of Art i.e. Images (PNG, JPEG etc.), Videos etc.
  2. Character (Entertainment, TV, Movie): This is by far the biggest (90%+) contributor to and the most common form of Licensing Business Model, The Iron Man T-Shirts, Bat-Man T-Shirts that you see are all Licensed by Marvel to different companies (like Fanatics) etc.
  3. Collegiate: This is the most Emotion Oriented Licensing type. When it comes to Alma Maters, Majority of the Alums Are Nostalgic. And who doesn’t want to flaunt that Harvard Business School or Stanford University Hoodie? Right? Well this type of licensing is more on providing services (Tech, Manufacturing, Distribution, E-comm, Retail, Legal) to Colleges and Universities. Remember Notre Dame? These apparel and accessories are printed Collegiate Licensing Companies (ironically the name of the largest such company is Collegiate Licensing Company – IMG CLC)
  4. Fashion: Fashion Licensing involves Large Fashion Labels who can’t or don’t want to enter a particular market (either geography or product line), get into a distribution / manufacturing (respectively) licensing agreement with a larger / experienced company. For e.g. Dior (our beautiful ladies’ fav perfume, Obvio???) licenses its brand name to be used by virtually anyone other than perfumes (Dior Sunglasses are manufactured by Luxottica – The planets largest Eyewear maker). The best (worst for the brand) example here is that of Calvin Klein (CK) – The company is just a licensor (perpetual – hahahah) to an unknown company called Warnaco (Owned by PVH Group – Phillips Van Huesen), CK has tried buying back the license rights multiple times from Warnaco, unsuccessfully…. Who does that!
  5. Music: Music Licensing is a big industry marred by Piracy. But commercial usage of Music / tunes etc. have to go through rigorous music licensing requirements. The TV that you see, the Radio that you hear, the Spotify that you stream have all been licensed in some or the other way of Music Licensing.
  6. Non-profit (Museum, Charities): A museum can be licensed to fund raisers or event management companies for some term (1 day to 1 year) to let them raise some money against the management expense of the charity.
  7. Sports (Leagues, Individuals): The governing body licenses the leagues to wealthy people like us and those team owners in turn license the apparel and accessories manufacturing, retail and distribution to experienced companies (for e.g. Fanatics.com)
  8. Trademarks/Brands: The owner of products (brand names) allow the usage of the same on 3rd party products. Like your laptop that comes with an Intel processor. Intel has licensed the tech to Windows and OEM of your Laptop.
  9. Content / Publishing: The author of the book, the writer of the play / movie licenses the rights to respective parties (publisher and producer of play / movies) against fixed fee + recurring royalties (TV/Cinema halls / Netflix etc.)

Product Licensing Examples

Product Licensing Examples
Product Licensing Examples

Licensing is an interesting gameplay, not all the deals make it to the limelight, for e.g. All those awesome NBA, NFL, NASCAR T-Shirts, Caps that you see out on Amazon etc. are exclusively owned by Fanatics.com (A Unicorn Startup) – Quietly staying under the radar.

Similarly, Food and Beverage Space is one of the largest Licensing Spaces (in terms of deals) because of the concept of a co-packer, the co-packer is licensed to produce the product that the licensor wants.

Recently Kellogg’s launched their “Super Mario” Cereal (licensed by Nintendo).

GoodYear Tyres, known for its Tyre Manufacturing Muscle has recently ventured into Footwear, Clothing line and Accessories, guess who is the partner…. “IMG Licensing” – CLC one that I mentioned above).

Product Licensing Examples – Licensor’s Perspective

Calvin Klein generates its revenues through its business arrangements with licensees and other third parties worldwide that manufacture, distribute and sell globally a broad array of products under the Calvin Klein brands (50 licences and counting), as follows:

Licensing Partner Product Category
CK Watch and Jewellery Co., Ltd. (Swatch SA) Men’s and women’s watches and women’s jewellery
CK21 Holdings Pte, Ltd. (Asia, excluding Japan) Men’s and women’s bridge apparel
Coty, Inc. Men’s and women’s fragrance and bath products
DWI Holdings, Inc. Soft home furnishings
GIII Apparel Group, Ltd. Men’s and women’s coats
Jimlar Corporation Men’s and women’s better shoes
Kellwood Company Women’s better sportswear
Marchon Eyewear, Inc. Men’s and women’s optical frames and sunglasses
McGregor Industries, Inc./American Essentials, Inc. Men’s and women’s socks and women’s tights
Onward Kashiyama Co. Ltd. (Japan) Men’s and women’s bridge apparel and certain casual attire and women’s coats and accessories
Peerless Delaware, Inc. Men’s tailored clothing
Warnaco, Inc. (including CK Jeanswear N.V. which it acquired on January 31, 2006) Men’s, women’s and children’s Jeanswear; men’s underwear and sleepwear; women’s intimate apparel and sleepwear; men’s and women’s swimwear

Calvin Klein’s largest business partners in terms of royalty and other revenues earned by Calvin Klein are (little old data):

  1. Warnaco, accounting for approximately 28%
  2. Coty, accounting for approximately 16%
  3. CK Jeanswear N.V., accounting for approximately 11%Product Licensing Examples – Licensee’s Perspective

As of now, Calvin Klein has merged with Warnaco and again Merged in turn with PVH.

Licensing Agreement

Licensing Agreement
Examples of Licensing Agreement

A licensing agreement is a legal contract between two parties, known as the licensor and the licensee. In a typical licensing agreement, the licensor grants the licensee the right (exclusive or otherwise) to produce and sell goods (a defined right under the agreement), use a brand name or trademark, or make use of the patented technology of the licensor. In exchange, the licensee usually agrees to a plethora of T&Cs of the licensor regarding the use of their intellectual property and agrees to make recurring payments known as royalties (+ a fixed upfront, if any).

Licensing Agreements – Important Inclusions

Because of the complex legal structure this presents, licensing agreements are fairly lengthy. All such agreements will cover the required basic points which include the scope of the agreement, including exclusivity or territorial restrictions; financial aspects including required advances, royalty rates, and how royalties are calculated; guarantees of minimum sales; time schedules involving “to market” dates, length of contract, and renewal options; the lessor’s rights of monitoring and quality control, including procedures to be followed; minimum inventories required to be maintained; finally, returns and allowances.

One of the most important elements of the licensing agreement is the MOOLAH arrangement. Payments from the licensee to the licensor usually take the form of guaranteed minimum payments (expressed either as percentages of MRP or Fixed Payout per good sold) and royalties on additional sales (mostly percentages). Royalties typically range from 2 to 8 percent, depending on the specific property involved and the licensee’s level of experience and sophistication.

The 2nd most important element of a licensing agreement is the term (duration) of the agreement. The licensing agreement will also include provisions about the length of the contract, renewal options, and termination conditions (please note that an important termination clause to be added here is that if the licensee fails or deliberately does not take the product to market the licensor can terminate the agreement without notice and forego the deposit made, many licensees will do this to keep a certain product out of the market or atleast delay the launch when they are working on a competing product).

Having said the above, it is very important to include a non-compete, non-poaching, non-solicitation (customer and team) and non-disclosure to the agreement to prevent the licensors IP.

Licensing Agreements – Quality and Liability

Most licensing agreements also address the issue of quality. For example, the licensor may insert conditions in the contract requiring the licensee to provide prototypes of the product, mockups of the packaging, and even occasional samples throughout the term of the contract. Of course, the best form of quality control is usually achieved before the fact—by carefully checking the reputation of the licensee. Another common quality-related provision in licensing agreements involves the method for disposal of unsold merchandise. If items remaining in inventory are sold as cheap knockoffs, it can hurt the reputation of the licensor in the marketplace.

When it comes to Quality of the merchandise it is always advisable to make sure the licensee indemnifies the licensor of all the liability claims on the product, also highly advisable to buy a liability insurance policy.

The last and the make-or-break element of licensing agreements which covers that the licensor maintains control of copyrights, patents, or trademarks.

Please do not go for internet downloaded licensing agreement templates, for your own good and to avoid a fate like that of CK, please take the services of a Licensing Lawyer or Licensing Consultant.

Brand Licensing


Brand Licensing
Brand Licensing

A brand is an “intangible asset”. Thus brand licensing mostly revolves around the idea of expanding product lines under an umbrella brand which is completely different than that of the nature of the brand. In time people forget that the parent brand was not at all associated with the current product line that they are using.

Brand licensing is extending the use of the brand name to 3rd party licensees who take charge of developing and sell the product under question.

For e.g. What do you associate the brand “Mickey Mouse” with – Cartoons, T-Shirts, Caps, Masks, Jump Suits, Bedsheets, Pillow Covers etc. Would you consider Mickey Mouse Drink (just because the shape of the bottle is like Mickey’s nose), if you can imagine it, you can sell it. That’s what brand licensing is all about.

The Example that I cited above, GoodYear is known only for Tyres, Now they have got into Clothing line. Also, as I highlighted above, people will forget in some time that Goodyear is only a tyre company and start associating it as an umbrella brand with different products.

Brand Licensing Examples

Brand Licensing Examples
Brand Licensing Examples

Brand Licensing Examples are not very obvious in day to day products. Just get this example for better understanding of the licensing example. A company manufactures showers, taps etc. (bathroom fittings) and has been doing so for a long long time. Its manufacturing prowess and design capability are known to everyone in the market, so when this company wants to develop new product lines (complimentary) it has three options, go to the market and score smaller (but niche) players for letting them sell you their brand name. Second being, design, develop on its own or third, license the product design from smaller inventors and go to market faster i.e. the licensing business model. In the first mode, it is not supposed to do anything but let the smaller player use their name and sell products against a royalty, second will take too much time and money to be invested into it. Third companies can resort to asking the designer/inventor of the product to let them have the recipe/process and manufacture and sell in on their own (here they have saved time & money for R&D, they can go to market faster) there by making the individual designer/inventor the licensor of the product under the licensing business model.

Fashion Brand Licensing Examples

The best example of licensing business model is that of a company called Luxottica. It is widely known in Geek Circles but a lay-man who just wears eyewear will never know what Luxottica or Who Luxottica is. Almost all major retailers (Fashion) from the likes of Chanel, Prada, Burberry, Michael Kors etc. have done their Brand Licensing for Eyewear to Luxottica. This list just goes on and includes the likes of DKNY, Armani, Dolce, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany&Co, Vogue, Versace Tory Burch, Valentino etc. etc.

Brand Licensing Companies

You can imagine the power of the licensing business model that The Global Top 150 licensing companies sold for over $275 billion in retail sales of licensed products. The Top 10 licensors now account for almost 53 percent of overall retail sales of the Top 150 Global Licensors.

Brand Licensing Companies – Top 10

Brand Licensing Companies
Brand Licensing Companies
  1. The Walt Disney Company, which is the perennial No. 1 global licensor and is an expert at licensing business model, reported an increase of $4.1 billion in 2016 to $56.6 billion in retail sales of licensed merchandise worldwide, following an increase of $7.2 billion in retail sales in 2015. This strong performance was driven by its diverse offerings such as the iconic Star Wars franchise, Finding Dory, Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, The Jungle Book, Zootopia and Moana, among others.
  2. Meredith Corp. reported $22.8 billion based on the revenue of its licensed Better Homes and Gardens real estate agencies and its extensive direct-to-retail licensing programs with Walmart and FTD.
  3. PVH, which reported $18 billion in global retail sales using licensing business model;
  4. Iconix Brand Group with a posted revenue of $12 Billion using licensing business model
  5. Warner Bros. Consumer Products, which again ranked No. 5 using licensing business model, reported a slight increase in retail sales of licensed merchandise to $6.5 billion,
  6. Hasbro, whose retail sales increased slightly to $6.2 billion using licensing business model,
  7. Universal Brand Group, which jumped to No. 7 with a reported $6.1 billion that reflects not only its own growth, but also its acquisition of DreamWorks Animation.
  8. Nickelodeon reporting $5.5 billion in retail sales of licensed merchandise worldwide using licensing business model;
  9. Major League Baseball with $5.5 billion using licensing business model;
  10. IMG College Licensing (Collegiate Licensing Company) reporting $4.5 billion using licensing business model.
Brand Licensing Europe
Brand Licensing Europe

Disclaimer: What is Licensing, Licensing Examples, Licensing Meaning, Licensing Business Model, Brand Licensing Examples, Licensing Agreement, Licensing Advantages and Disadvantages, Licensing vs Franchising, Brand Licensing Europe, Product Licensing Examples, Brand Licensing Companies is based on personal research and understanding. Brands, Brand Names and Images property of respective companies and this content is strictly copyrighted so no copying at all. Give proper credits and link to the post for use.   This is searched for What is Licensing, Licensing Examples, Licensing Meaning, Licensing Business Model, Brand Licensing Examples, Licensing Agreement, Licensing Advantages and Disadvantages, Licensing vs Franchising, Brand Licensing Europe, Product Licensing Examples, Brand Licensing Companies.



  1. As a licensee, if you are dealing with a solo investor (something you often see in the Tank) and a company has a master license, is it tied to the inventor themselves? Also, if an inventor has a company, could they just close their shop and open another company and begin inventing again in order to void the master license all together since it is a new company?

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