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What is a Sublicense Agreement?

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This post is based on a LinkedIn question that I answered recently. (The Q&A no longer are available at LinkedIn, which has discontinued that feature.) Q. What is a sublicense agreement?

A. A license is an agreement by which the owner (the licensor) of something (in the case of the LinkedIn question, a trademark) grants, to someone else (the licensee), rights that are less that all of the rights to that thing. “Licensing 101“, and the download to which it refers, provide basic information about licensing.

A sublicense agreement is an agreement by which the licensee (as sublicensor) grants to someone else (as sublicensee) some of the licensee’s rights. If permitted by the original license agreement, there may be multiple tiers of sublicensees.

Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law  +1 510-547-0545  dana [at] danashultz [dot] com
This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer directly.

  1. 5/29/2012 | 6:24 am Permalink

    The interpretation given above is quite useful.However, I have a further query,which is given below:
    Is sub sub license of immovable property permissible, if permitted by the licensor. If so, whether the licensor should also be a party to the said agreement or merely his consent letter be attached to the said agreement by way of an annexure?

    C.A.,C.S. A.K.Maitra

    • 5/29/2012 | 9:13 am Permalink

      The license agreement should state whether the licensor’s participation in, or consent to or notice of, any sublicense is required.

      Absent any such express requirement in a license agreement, my experience is that the licensee may enter into a sublicense agreement without the licensor’s participation.

      You should have a qualified lawyer in the applicable jurisdiction look at the license agreement and advise you.

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