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License To Profit Make your play for a piece of the $100 billion licensing market.

By Cynthia E. Griffin

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

To many, it seems to be the key to a gold mine. Putting a NotreDame logo, a Lion King character or a Jurassic Park graphic on yourproduct means guaranteed success, right?

For a sure thing, prepare for a frustrating search. But ifyou're willing to put some time and effort into making yourproduct work, buying the licensing rights to a well-known productor name can substantially increase your chances for success.

Licensing is a $100 billion retail market worldwide, with $70billion in business in North America alone, says Murray Altchuler,executive director of the International Licensing IndustryMerchandisers' Association (LIMA). But "a license is not a[prescription] for instant success," he cautions. "Itgives you the borrowed interest of a name that is either unique orhas some consumer acceptance, but it still takes good selling andmarketing to succeed. A license is, in essence, a tool, and whenused well, it's an extremely cost-effective marketingtool."

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