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license, in public law, permission by legal authority to engage in certain acts and also the document showing such permission. Some licenses are required for the protection of the public; they assure professional competence (e.g., physicians) or moral fitness (e.g., tavern keepers). Others are designed primarily to raise revenue or to keep a registry (e.g., automobile licenses). It is a crime to engage in a licensed activity without having first procured a license. In property law, a license is a right that the owner grants some other party to make use of his land. Such licenses are revocable at will if they are not part of a contract. They are personal and hence may not be sold; they expire on the death of the grantee. A license to cross another's land is an easement in gross. In patent law, a license is a written authority granted by the owner of a patent to another person, empowering the latter to make or use the patented article for a limited period or in a limited territory.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) An export or import license is an authorization given by a competent state body to carry out foreign trade transactions. Issuing licenses is one of the forms of state control of trade export and import, as well as of foreign exchange. In the capitalist countries the issuing of licenses is used as a way to limit (or completely prohibit) trade with particular countries or groups of countries, protect domestic industry against foreign competition, control the expenditure of foreign exchange, and supplement budget incomes by imposing license charges for issuing the authorization to export and import. In the developing countries the issuing of licenses is used above all to protect the domestic economy from foreign monopolies.

In the socialist countries the issuing of licenses is one form of implementing the state’s monopolies on foreign trade. Licenses are issued by the ministries in charge of foreign trade (in the USSR, the Ministry of Foreign Trade).

(2) An authorization to use an invention or other technical advance, given on the basis of a license agreement or a legal or administrative decision by a competent governmental body, is also known as a license. Ordinarily licenses are issued for an invention that has been patented or for which a patent application has been made. So-called patentless licenses are issued for achievements (including production secrets) that cannot, according to the law of the particular country, be protected by patent or for inventions for which the application to receive a protective document has not been submitted for some reason. The cost for a patent license is usually higher than for a patentless one.

There are three principal types of licenses: simple, exclusive, and full. With a simple license the licenser (holder of the patent) gives the licensee the right to use the invention within the limits established by the agreement, while retaining the right to use it in the same territory and also to grant it to an unlimited range of persons under the same conditions (the licensee does not have the right to issue sublicenses). Under an exclusive license contract, an exclusive right to use the invention within the limits established by the agreement is granted, with the patent holder renouncing his right to use it independently in this territory or to give it to other people. With a full license the holder gives the licensee the right to use all rights based on the patent during the effective period of the patent (this form of license is used comparatively rarely).

On the basis and in the manner established by law, a court or governmental body may, on application by an interested person, establish a mandatory license; that is, it may authorize the use of a patented invention under conditions determined by the body. Such a license is ordinarily issued where the invention is not being used or is used inadequately (from the viewpoint of state interests).

In addition, a mandatory license may be granted if state defense is involved or in cases where an invention is particularly important for the state but no agreement has been reached with the patent holder on issuing licenses. For example, according to Article 112 of the Basic Principles of Civil Legislation of the USSR, such licenses may be given if the Council of Ministers of the USSR so decides.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A written document authorizing a person to perform specific acts, such as the construction or alteration of a building, or the installation, alteration, use, and/or operation of service equipment therein.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


(US), license
a certificate, tag, document, etc., giving official permission to do something
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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This would be true even if Henry has not been fully compensated as Welbuilt's nonexclusive license to use the documents will not be abrogated for non-payment as that is not generally seen as terminating the license.
Company X will want to consider at this point whether the government's retention of a nonexclusive license is acceptable from a business perspective.
* exclusive or nonexclusive license for copyright computer technology
One of the assets is all of Y's rights in certain software previously used by Y under the terms of a nonexclusive license from the software developer.
P and C entered into a contract under which C would perform certain R&E work for P P paid C $500,000 and granted C a 15-month nonexclusive license for a 20% royalty and an option to acquire the rights to the technology for $5 million.
The RRA specifically provides that the term "section 197 intangible" does not include computer software (whether acquired as part of a trade or business or otherwise) that (1) is readily available for purchase by the general public; (2) is subject to a nonexclusive license; and (3) has not been substantially modified.
197 intangible" also would not include any computer software (however acquired) that is readily available for purchase by the general public, subject to a nonexclusive license, and not substantially modified; or any software (including custom software) not acquired in a transaction involving the acquisition of a trade or business.
The firm's patent portfolio continues to grow in industrial applications for Halloysite materials, which are available under either exclusive or nonexclusive licenses. The materials science company focuses on developing and commercializing advanced nanocomposites and additive technologies.
Takara Bio and MolMed have signed a licensing agreement whereby Takara Bio can exclusively commercialize MolMed's HSV-TK gene therapy in Asia and MolMed retains nonexclusive licenses for Takara's RetroNectin technology in Europe and the US.
The GET program offers flexible, nonexclusive licenses with manageable fees and fractional royalties based on fields of use.
The Institute has issued two nonexclusive licenses on the process.
TEI also recommends that nonexclusive licenses be excluded from the definition of a section 197 intangible.