Following his death, a strong focus on maximizing Prince’s IP

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2017 | Intellectual Property |

What centrally defines the marketing power or financial force that underlies a dynamic business or creative individual?

Although many things go into the equation, of course, we would modestly submit that the bottom line is inextricably linked with branding, which is in turn closely connected to notions of uniqueness.

We have seen the connection many times at the proven Los Angeles County business law firm of Larson & Gaston, and comment upon it on a page of our website discussing the components of intellectual property and its protection.

We note therein that, “One of the most important assets of a business organization [and, impliedly, any major artist or other individual talent] is its brand — its goods, ideas, services and intellectual assets that can become more than the sum of its parts.”

Let’s talk the artist Prince for a moment.

Does any other entertainer come more readily to mind in consideration of a musical talent who was flatly unique and had a compelling singular brand?

Our readers know well of Prince’s death last year, and likely some details regarding his personal estate.

In a nutshell, the artist reportedly left no will. Moreover, he often disdained lucrative deals throughout his career, separating himself from profit opportunities when he thought they benefited third parties more than himself.

His estate administrators are now acknowledging and dealing with that, given their duty to oversee Prince’s assets in a manner that benefits his estate until it is ultimately turned over to heirs.

A point they centrally make, as noted in a recent Bloomberg article on Prince’s estate and property rights, is that very few business deals were in place enabling the artist “to take advantage of his songs or personal brand after his death last year.”

And the executors have nothing in writing regarding how Prince might have wished to proceed with his musical material in the future.

They thus feel challenged, noting the balance they must maintain between expectations Prince might have had and their legal duty to maximize profit for the estate they are now administering.

Unquestionably, Prince’s intellectual property is a veritable goldmine, and certain to have staying power as a profit generator. His executors have negotiated numerous marketing and licensing deals in past months, with one estate principal noting that Prince’s assets are now “in the hands of the best companies and the best people to create the biggest value.”

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