Buying a licence is like buying a house - don't take the first one you see!

Only, we know its not. Firstly, how do you know that you’ve seen everything available? Don’t you need to talk to several agents first, to see what the others have? When you view the house, is it as good as it looks – might you need a structural survey to look behind the lovely descriptions in the glossy brochure? Could there be an even better one round the corner in the next street? Then, when you finally locate a really great property, it’s already carrying a ‘SOLD’ sign. What if a little gem comes in just after you’ve left the office on your way to your viewings? Will the agent call and tell you about it, or save mentioning it to that nice gentleman who bought a house the year before?

Well, buying a license for your company’s products bears many similarities to the house-buying scenario. There are lots of agents with lots of (intellectual) properties in this case, good, bad and indifferent. To have the whole picture, you need to talk to them all. You need to find out about the new exciting properties when they first come in, before your competitors, so that you get the best chance to buy the best property. You want to ‘look behind the brochures’ to avoid the bad or indifferent – maybe even a ‘full survey’ to see if the basic idea is sound.