1. Home
  2.  → 
  3. Real estate transactions
  4.  → Intellectual property in real estate transactions

Intellectual property in real estate transactions

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2024 | Real estate transactions

Intellectual property (IP) issues are increasingly consequential in matters involving commercial real estate transactions. As businesses become more reliant on technology and branding, working to ensure that IP concerns are addressed in real estate contracts may be important for those involved. 

For example, businesses that display artwork, architectural designs or other copyrighted materials in their commercial space need to ensure they have the right licenses and permissions. Real estate contracts should address the use of such materials to prevent infringement issues. For example, if a tenant wishes to display copyrighted artwork in their office, the contract should specify that the tenant is responsible for securing the necessary rights to use the artwork.

Trademark issues

Trademarks are consequential for many businesses, as they represent their brand identity. When leasing or purchasing commercial property, it is often important to address the use of trademarks in the lease or sale agreement. For example, a retail tenant may want to display its branded signage on the property. The lease agreement should explicitly permit the use of such trademarks, ensuring there are no conflicts with the landlord’s branding policies or other tenants’ rights.

Confidential information

Businesses often operate with confidential information that they need to protect, even within their real estate transactions. Contracts should include clauses that safeguard confidential information shared during negotiations and after the agreement is in place. For example, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) can be incorporated into the contract to ensure that sensitive business information, trade secrets and other IP are not disclosed or misused by the landlord or other parties involved in the transaction.

Intellectual property concerns can be consequential influences when it comes to commercial real estate contracts and transactions. Addressing these issues upfront in the lease or purchase agreements can help to prevent future disputes and protect the valuable IP assets of the businesses involved.