Just like we buy and sell commodities in a marketplace, trademarks can also be transferred from one business owner to another. It’s quite easy to assume that trademark sales involve just the transfer of a name, however, this is a wrong notion as trademark sales includes other aspects of a business. Also, the sale could be a total or partial one and the transfer of goodwill is actively involved.
4 Important Points to Note in Trademark Sales.
- A trademark can only be sold by the actual intellectual property owner who has the formal power to assign rights with the intellectual property agency.
- The trademark sale usually consists of other aspects of the owner’s business, which includes physical assets, customer lists and generally the goodwill associated with the mark.
- A would-be owner should hire a qualified attorney to prepare the transfer documents before the assignment is done.
- The owner needs to document the transfer between the contracting parties by signing a well drafted transfer agreement with the buyer if the trademark which states the terms of agreement.
It is important to also note that if the owner of a trademark doesn't properly transfer trademark ownership rights and/or the buyer commits trademark infringement on another party's mark, such seller may be joined in the dispute if they still own the mark. Additionally, the new and old owners could find themselves in a dispute where the trademark is not recorded with the IPO.
Unregistered trademarks can also be sold. However, it is compulsory that their transfer includes the goodwill that comes with them. A mark's goodwill can be seen as the recognition consumers or users associate with it together with its
earning power. Simply put it refers to the fact that consumers recognize and want to do business with the owners of such mark.
If you’re looking to purchase or transfer a trademark, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to guide you through the entire process.