Data Attributes

Questions related to our data fields

Can you define the royalty base (net sales, sales, gross sales, etc.) included in the agreement?

We do not capture these details because each license defines the royalty base differently.  This means you would need to review the source of information for the definition. 

Do you report if the parties to the agreements are related or unrelated?

The simple answer is sometimes.  If the source of information clearly states the relationship between the parties, we will capture that information.  Further investigation by the researcher may help add clarity to the relationship of the parties. 

How often do you update your database?

Every day. We constantly search for agreements. 

What industries are represented in the database? 

All industries. We collect every agreement released to the public that reports a royalty payment or fee. 

Questions related to RoyaltySource search

Why can’t I find any agreements similar to my situation?

There are many factors affecting the supply of agreements. One factor could be the slow cycle of innovation. Another could be the number of royalty-free cross licenses between industry players. In addition, companies filing with the SEC are only required to release license information if it has a material impact on the business. For example, we do not have many agreements involving large corporations. Most likely no license would be material to their business. Further, many licenses are released, but companies can omit the royalty payment information if they feel such information is too sensitive and the SEC agrees. This also impacts what we find. Eventually, after 3 to 5 years, we request that information and the SEC releases it to us.

Will I find an exact comparable agreement?

No, each researcher needs to think about other licenses that can be used as a guide.

Information Source

Questions about our sources of information

Does the database include active agreements?

We believe some of the agreements are active.  The termination dates of agreements can vary for many reasons.  There may be a statutory termination date detailed in the license contract, but that may or may not be the date of termination.  Each contract is fact specific.  Many times there is other contact language that can impact when a contract terminates.  For example, a contact may have a term of 10 years, but if the contract language states that either party can terminate for non-performance, we do not know if termination occurred.  When we know the statutory term, we include that in our database.

Does the database include agreements from around the world?

Yes.  We include all agreements, but most of the agreements involve US parties.  Within each agreement the rights to specific geographic territories is defined and covered in our database.

Does the database include Renewed or Renegotiated agreements?

 If the agreements included a royalty payment indication and it was released to the public, we have the agreement. 

How many years of agreements are available in the database?

The beginning of our efforts to collect and report licensing data started in September 1990.  That data formed the core of our database offering in June 1997. Wdo not have all licenses from September 1990 until now. Electronic reporting of US SEC Filings began in 1995 and we have been actively searching those files every day since that time to capture the publicly released agreements.

What is the source of your information?

Our primary source is the US SEC Filings. We also expand that source to include periodicals such as newspaper articles, professional journal articles and press releases. From these sources we find US and non-US agreements. For the US SEC Filing sources i.e. 10-k, 10-Q, S-1 etc. and periodicals where an actual agreement is not available, the information varies from that detailed in an actual agreement. However, the minimum details included in our records are the names of the parties to the license, a description of the property licensed and the royalty rate charged. 

What type of agreements are included in the database?

We have Intellectual Property and Intangible Asset license and sale agreements.  We also have Franchise agreements and other Fee related agreements.  The Fee agreements include: ServiceCommission Sale, Management, Consultant, Employment and Representation/Agency.  We do not collect agreements related to mineral rights (such as gas, ore, iron, and gravel). 

Industry Data

Questions related to general industry data

Do you have general industry data?


• We summarize 15 different industries and you can purchase that summary data in our IPSCIO Reports section.
• We have targeted technology reports in our IPSCIO Reports section.
• We also have searchable industry segments within the database that you can search online and create reports.