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Licensing is the term used for a transfer of rights from a trademark or patent owner (licensor) to a second entity (licensee) to produce goods or services bearing that trademark, or using that patent. Patent licensing is primarily in the arena of industrial production, and includes medicines, machinery, high-technology (e.g., the manufacture of aircraft), etc.

Trademark licensing is a large and growing segment of the consumer marketplace, and is most prominently apparent in things like t-shirts with the logo of a popular movie, a Mickey Mouse watch, or sports apparel with your favorite teams. Trademark licensing also plays a large and growing role in business under the category of brand licensing.