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The revenue standard includes specific implementation guidance for accounting for licenses of intellectual property. The first step is to determine whether the license is distinct or combined with other goods or services. The revenue recognition pattern for distinct licenses is based on whether the license is a right to access IP (revenue recognized over time) or a right to use IP (revenue recognized at a point in time). For licenses that are bundled with other goods or services, management will apply judgment to assess the nature of the combined item and determine whether the combined performance obligation is satisfied at a point in time or over time.
Figure RR 9-1 illustrates the overall framework for accounting for licenses.
Figure RR 9-1
Accounting for licenses of intellectual property
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