INDUSTRY SERVICES MONTH: Sector Guide Special - Licensing.biz

INDUSTRY SERVICES MONTH: Sector Guide Special

There are a network of service providers behind most companies to oil the wheels of the licensing business. PR, marketing, safety testing, design, recruitment, logistics and legal are just some of the areas which can be outsourced. Read on for your guide...
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4T2 Multimedia
01202 767300

Website development and online games for brands wanting to engage children through the medium are the services offered by 4T2 Multimedia. The firm works with kids to ensure everything it creates is interactive and keeps them coming back for more.

Children played games created by 4T2 more than 80 million times last year.

The company has worked for Lego, delivering online games including Bionicle Mistika, Mars Mission, Mahri, City and more. The Bionicle game was played 21 million times in 2007.

CSI
020 7553 7960

CSi provides specialist investigative services, surveillance and corporate security for companies, governments and private individuals. It also boasts a dedicated Intellectual Property Investigations team.

A key part of its portfolio is the brand protection software WatchDog - a fully automated web service which helps protect brands against online infringement and counterfeit sales. WatchDog constantly monitors online auction sites for copyright and trade mark infringements. It can be tailored to search for your copyright words and images and all forms of trade marks, including devices. WatchDog automatically sends VeRO notices and comprehensively documents all actions for audit purposes and reviews.

WatchDog has removed £35 million of infringing items from eBay this year alone. WatchDog is an Official eBay Compatible Application Partner.

The firm's Intellectual Property Investigations Division works in total confidence and develops individual investigation approaches and strategies depending on the case itself and will never compromise quality, discretion or integrity. It specialises in In-Use Trade Mark investigations, In-Use Domain Name investigations, In-Use Common Law investigations and Company investigations in the UK, Europe and Worldwide. Each investigation it undertakes takes different routes as the enquiry is conducted, however, following the investigation plan and with the national and international resources available to CSi, key findings are evaluated and passed on to the client. In addition to this, it uses experience and expertise to advise clients on how best to proceed based on its findings. This includes the set up and management of covert call and test purchase programs.

Energy PR
01993 823011

A specialist in the toy, licensing and youth markets, Energy's services range from product launches, events, internal communications, copywriting and complete campaign planning through to the utilisation of its media contacts.

The company strives to take products, brands and messages to wherever the target audience is through the use of mainstream media, social networks, forums and blogs or microblogs and tags. The agency also has a US affiliate company, allowing it to support clients in the UK, Europe and North America.

Staff at Energy are all senior professionals drawn from the worlds of TV, journalism and in-house roles.

Fisher Forensics
+44 (0)20 7380 4964

Fisher Forensic provides independent, expert advice to owners of intellectual property, holders of head licences and intermediaries. Its aim is to help clients maximise revenues from licensing and royalty agreements.

Fisher Forensic has an established reputation in licensing and royalty auditing. Its work covers sectors as diverse as film and television, character merchandising, brand exploitation and industrial processes.

The firm acts for individuals receiving a relatively small amount of royalties, as well as major international companies with a vast portfolio of licensees. Applying forensic skills, it determines whether the royalties being paid are correct, ensure that any due funds are recovered, and that the correct level of royalties will be paid in the future.

Services range from assisting clients at the outset by reviewing proposed licensing contracts, through to identifying underpayments with a programme of regular audits, and assisting with negotiations or preparing evidence for legal proceedings and acting as expert witnesses should the need arise. The firm's experience also enables it to develop new opportunities for clients, and on occasion it has been able to make suggestions for brand exploitation and introduce companies to new licensees which can generate incremental sales.

Partners and staff have many years’ experience and are equipped with high-level technical skills and an in-depth knowledge of the sector that comes only through specialisation. The company says that it has built up a level of expertise that it believes few, if any, other firms can match.
For more information, please contact Stuart Burns.

Hamlins
020 7355 6116

Hamlins has an excellent reputation in the entertainment and media fields, with particular strength in brand-related matters which has been part of its core practice for a number of years. This expertise includes merchandising (including character merchandising), sport, music, leisure and fashion), giving the firm a unique insight into both brand protection and exploitation issues.

The brand team advises on the following areas: how to create, identify and document a potential brand; rights; enforcement (in the UK and Europe, plus particular recognition for anti-counterfeiting work in China); exploitation (licensing, franchising, sponsorship, endorsement, merchandising and marketing across traditional and emerging media); and monetisation.

The firm's clients include a number of household names and well-known rights holders, although the team also advises individuals, start ups and entrepreneurs.

Contact Ian Down or Philip Herbert for further information.

Kilogrammedia
01279 778919

Licensing specialist PR agency, Kilogrammedia was founded in 2001 and aims to meet the communication needs, both trade and consumer, of licensors, licensees, agents, production companies and others involved in the licensing industry.
The agency's main priority is to provide for the needs of both clients and media and all press releases and features are written by professional journalists.

The firm has grown considerably since its establishment, but remains compact in terms of staffing in order to ensure a hands-on approach, offering clients continuity in its work.
Kilogram's staff are highly involved with the industry on a daily basis both on a social and corporate level, meaning staff are well-known throughout the licensing world.

Licensingpages Recruitment
020 3178 4552/3

Licensingpages Recruitment was established in January 2007 to satisfy the employment opportunities surrounding all areas within the licensing and brand industry and all ancillary roles surrounding it. The two directors – Ian Downes and Andrew Levy – collectively have over 30 years of experience in the industry. The company’s key strength is that that both Downes and Levy are actively involved in the licensing industry on a day to day basis and so are in touch with what employers and candidates need in this changing retail environment.

When needed they also have the resource of the Licensingpages database at their disposal and this covers licensing managers, licensing executives, sales and marketing directors, CEOs, brand managers, promotions executives, product managers, PAs, temporary staff, para-legals, retail buyers, designers and forensic accountants. They have around 300 candidates on our books at any one time and are constantly sourcing from outside the industry to bring in fresh talent and experience. They interview every candidate and take a thoroughly detailed brief from the employer.

Furthermore Licensingpages Recruitment offers competitive rates which are backed up by a refund guarantee. Its professional and discreet service also stretches overseas into 76 countries.

Rainbow Productions
020 8254 5300

Founded in 1983, Rainbow Productions replicates artwork, transforming it into high quality costume characters, puppets and props. The firm merged with Character Productions in 1996 to offer a wider range of services.

The company represents a number of international television networks and studios including Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox and the BBC. The portfolio currently contains 90 licensed cartoon characters.

The characters are available for personal appearances and characters appearances take place at a range of venues, including in-store, shopping centres and trade exhibitions. These appearances play a role in the promotion of associated licensed toy merchandise. Examples include the appearance of Peppa Pig at this year's Dream Toys event and, ahead of Toy Fair in January, Rainbow works with licensors to ensure a number of licensed characters are represented within the halls and at photo calls.

The firm can also create bespoke promotional costume characters. For example, this summer Pinky and Robo, characters from EA's Zubo game, were created to coincide with the release on Nintendo DS and were present at the 2008 Games Convention in Leipzig in August.

Bionic communications
0207 198 8320

Reigning champion of this year’s Lightfund Quiz, Bionic Communications has quietly become a favourite for many of the industry’s organizations. The firm works with companies including Twentieth Century Fox, HIT Entertainment, Chapman Entertainment, Warner Bros, BBC WW, Disney CP and TV Loonland for all things digital.

Bionic was founded six years ago with the intention to become an industry-focused agency combining knowledge of licensing with enthusiasm, proactivity and a large slice of fun.

The firm demonstrates its knowledge of the application of digital communications to the industry by providing solid, compelling and engaging content. Bionic's digital services have evolved over time to meet its clients’ communication goals from under one agency roof.

Services offered include branded web builds, promotional microsites, viral promotional content, video production and interactive presentation materials. The one-stop-shop approach has proven to reduce agency fees whilst not impacting on overall campaign results.

Bionic’s industry focus and proactive nature has paid dividends for the firm and its clients. An example of this, and in fact a licensing first, is the online promotional communications programme to the licensing, retail and broadcast industry the firm runs and manages on behalf of Fox and Hit Entertainment, which is generating strong results.

PricewaterhouseCoopers
020 7583 5000

A £3 million discrepancy, an underpayment of £500k, an overpayment of €60k - These are just a few of the results of recent royalty examinations performed by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Over 90 per cent of all royalty examinations which PricewaterhouseCoopers undertakes reveal significant mis-reporting of revenues due to clerical errors, accounting mistakes or contract misunderstandings.

Brand owners can benefit from a more active and managed approach to protecting intellectual property. Eight out of ten companies do not actively monitor their royalty arrangements and revenues. Those companies that do monitor benefit from increased revenues, improved compliance, more accurate reporting and even new incremental income streams.

Rare Communications
020 7284 5911


Rare Communications (www.rarecommunications.co.uk) is a specialist kids, youth and entertainment PR agency with expertise in the brand licensing and virtual world sectors.

Founded in 2003, the agency has a prestigious client portfolio ranging across broadcast, theatre, TV, music, products and online including The Society of London Theatre; Popworld; BBC Worldwide and In the Night Garden; Green’s; Kindle Entertainment and CBeebies pre-school show Big and Small and TV-Loonland and its properties including Little Princess which airs on FIVE.

Rare is one of a few agencies with expertise within the licensing sector and is well established and recognised within it, working with the UK Licensing Industry Awards and brands such as Bang on the Door amongst others.

Rare was recently appointed by SYCO Music (Simon Cowell’s division of Sony BMG), to join its roster of PR agencies to promote the launch of Same Difference’s debut album.

Brand Finance

020 8607 0300

Brand Finance is an independent global consultancy focused on advising strongly branded organisations on how to maximize value through the effective management of their intangible assets. The firm aims to help maximise earnings and provide greater brand presence by identifying the best opportunities for third party licensing and franchising.

Brand Finance also conducts work on royalty rate determination for transfer pricing and third party licensing activity; advises on licensing agreements and best practice in licensing; advises on the structuring of centralised brand ownership and management arrangements and provides expert witness services for transfer pricing disputes.

Finally, the company places a capital value on brands, intangible assets and intellectual property in many jurisdictions for accounting, tax, corporate finance and marketing purposes.

Brand Finance clients include international brand owners such as Vodafone, Shell, Groupe Danone and SABMiller, tax authorities such as the IRS, HMRC and the Australian Tax Office, IP lawyers and investment banks. Our work is frequently peer-reviewed by the Big Four audit practices and our approach has been accepted by the UK Takeover Panel.

REAL Software Systems
020 3008 7200

Over the past 15 years, REAL Software Systems (RSS) has focused on solutions for contract, rights and royalties management across industries involved in IP licensing and distribution.

RSS understands the value of efficiently sustaining mutually beneficial relationships with partners (licensors, licensees, distributors, agents, developers, artists) and has helped its customers maximise their operational efficiency while managing the challenges of contract complexity, volume and uniqueness.

The Alliant solution sits at the cornerstone of the intellectual property licensing and distribution process for global companies including Hasbro, BBC Worldwide, JAKKS Pacific, Electronic Arts, PBS, THQ, Egmont, Reader’s Digest, Activision Blizzard and Sony Computer Entertainment.

Alliant supports business users in finance, legal, sales and operations with comprehensive contract and rights management, auditable royalties/participations accounting, customisable reporting, as well as strategic forecasting capabilities.

The firm is committed to helping customers address the difficult challenges that result from unique deals and business model changes, utilising Alliant’s flexible business rules engine. Alliant easily integrates within varied application environments (vendor and be-spoke) allowing customers to rely on the best solutions to meet their objectives.

To assist its customers in achieving their goals, RSS offers direct consulting services (implementation and business process), support and training services, and development services throughout the life-cycle of a customer’s engagement with our company.

RSS has offices in Boston, London, and Los Angeles.

Olswang Solicitors
020 7067 3000


Founded in 1981, Olswang has grown to a team of over 650, including more than 100 partners, across four European offices.

Olswang is a leading business law firm with a distinctive approach. Resourceful drive and a climate of shared knowledge and empowerment are the hallmarks of our meritocratic, unstuffy culture.

Olswang lawyers are renowned as dynamic and progressive practitioners. For the last four years Olswang has been ranked in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For and its strong management team is dedicated to the personal and professional development of its people.

From world-class businesses to entrepreneurial start-ups, the diversity of the firm's client base ensures a broader perspective and, as a result, deeper commercial insight. We work closely with our clients to develop a deep understanding of their business and a long-term relationship. This ensures that it delivers practical legal advice to achieve their commercial objectives quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.

At Olswang the passion of the lawyers, the confidence of its approach and the commercial edge to its advice provides a unique and compelling service.

Olswang acts for a wide range of rights holders and agencies in licensing and merchandising matters and members of the team have diverse experience including classic character-based product licensing arrangements, sports event licensing and fashion manufacturing and distribution models.

Complementary expertise within the firm in the fields of intellectual property, new media, film production and sponsorship means that it can maximise the value of the advice it provides in connection with the full life cycle of licensing programmes from the engagement of licensees to the prosecution of ambush marketing and counterfeiting.

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