Monetization via Licensing the Brand

AKA: Sell use of Trademark

If your brand is well-known, attractive, and legally protected (e.g., a registered Trademark), you can get paid by companies who want to use your brand to promote their own products (e.g., claiming “Based on Moodle”, “ElasticSearch inside”, …) or offerings (e.g., courses with OpenOffice, about OpenSearch, etc.). The open-source software is monetized by selling a usage license - often generating one-time income with options to generate recurring revenue.


Variants & Options:



Characteristics Value Note
Effort to set-up Years Requires brand building and creation of legal documents
Effort to maintain Low Depends on the popularity and size of target group
Cost to set-up Medium Will require a lawyer to setup the license and contracts
Cost to maintain Low Will cause costs for legal or tax related stuff (but should be covered by income)
One-time Income High Depends on brand attractiveness
Recurring Income High Depends on brand attractiveness
Income Predictability Medium Might degrade if similar projects become more attractive
Full income Threshold 50-  
Recipient C  
Additional Work Low Usage verification and contract negotiation
Visibility Medium If competitors see brand usage they might want to license it themselves
Necessity to pay Medium Only you can license the brand but it might not be necessary / attractive to do so for the companies
Entry Threshold Medium Requires contracts
Countervalue Brand  
Scalability Medium Scales with the number of companies
Effort for marketing Medium Depends on brand attractiveness
Competitors None At least not for your brand
Software types Complex Better for complex software or tools