Sometimes the shortest path to trademark success is to buy one. Purchasing an existing trademark requires detailed knowledge of what you're looking for, a shrewd way to evaluate what's available, and a keen sense of when to get a bargain.
A trademark protects the goodwill that customers have with a provider of goods or services. It's not simply the brand or the logo but rather the overall feel of the trademark and how it helps customers identify who produces what.
To ensure a good fit, first, consider how important the trademark is to your business. Are you looking to create a franchise business that exists on licensing bulletproof trademarks If so, putting in the work of building a mark from scratch might make sense. But if you're adding a new, speculative product that quickly needs to gain market traction in a competitive market, buying an off-the-rack trademark could be the better way to go.
1. Know what you want. Trademarks registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are categorized by their market, such as food, clothes, and services, so start by checking the USPTO database by the category you're interested in. You can also hire a third-party to conduct a trademark search for you.
2. Be your customers: find a trademark. Goodwill is an abstract notion, but your customers are not. When shopping for a trademark, put yourself in the shoes of your clients. Does the mark build the relationship you want with them It's an important consideration because if you don't have a firm grasp on your business case, you'll never know if the trademark you find is right for your business.
Intellectual property is still property, whose worth is a combination of its scope and location. When it comes to actually buying the mark, you have options. You can pay to have the owner assign the trademark to you and own it outright, or you can license some or all of the rights.
If purchasing an existing trademark is proving expensive, consider purchasing a dead trademark or one on the verge of abandonment. Find one by searching the USPTO's Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). At the very least, you'll know the mark is worth less to the owner than the cost of maintaining it.
When acquiring a trademarked name for your small business there is no requirement that you actually buy a trademark. However, upon completion of your trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, you will be required to pay the requisite filing fee. Before attempting to file a trademark registration on behalf of your business, you should consult with a trademark attorney as the required background search and application require knowledge of trademark law.
Trademarks help consumers identify the particular origin of a good or service. Although it is possible to register for trademark protection in many states, federal registration is superior. Federal trademark protection provides many benefits, such as a presumption of validity, notice of your mark on the official register and the ability to bring a trademark action before the USPTO.
In order for your mark to be eligible for registration it must not already be in use, it must not be overly generic and it must otherwise meet the requirements set forth by the USPTO. A good trademark should be fanciful or arbitrary as opposed to descriptive. Descriptive marks are generally discouraged as the USPTO does not want to grant a monopoly over commonly used terms.
Before you apply for trademark registration you will need to conduct a thorough trademark search to make sure that your proposed mark is not already in use. You should start by searching the USPTO's Trademark Electronic Search System. However, because trademarks also acquire common law rights without federal registration you will need to search state trademark databases, business listings and the Internet to make sure that someone else isn't already using the mark you wish to protect for your small business.
If you're planning to buy trademarks, you should know that this step will protect your business, identifying where your goods or services come from. Although you can certainly register a trademark in your state, federal registration is far superior, protecting you on a national basis.
A trademark is a symbol, design, word, or phrase; it can also be any combination of these. It is intended to differentiate the source of the trademark. The name of a company or person, specific sounds, and business logos/symbols can all be legally registered.
As mentioned, federal registration is recommended. This step offers many benefits, including your mark being officially registered to your business, greater validity, and the ability to take action regarding your trademark.
The first entity to use a trademark will be granted with protection based on the geographic location of operation, even if the mark is registered. When you do claim the rights to a trademark, you can then include the 'TM' (trademark) or 'SM' (service mark) symbol.
With the rise of the Internet, domain names are now highly accessible and in many cases, inexpensive. This is why it is recommended that you register your name, especially if you believe that it could be threatened by a cybersquatter, which is someone who will register your company's name or trademark as a domain name in order to sell it to you, the rightful owner.
Although you can use a trademark you have created to identify your goods or services, filing an application can legally protect you. This means that if there is any dispute, you can take action in a court of law.
For internet businesses, registered web extensions are not generally recommended. It is better to register a trademark without the extension, as this will prevent others from using the business name by simply adding a different web extension.
Before you buy trademarks, you must perform a background search. This will help you uncover whether or not a trademark is in use. Begin by searching the USPTO's trademark search database. You should also research possible trademarks at the state level.
Based on this search, you can then register your trademark. This will require a specific application to be filed, which comes with a $275 fee. Although this can be a straightforward process, an attorney will offer all legal assistance. At the very least, businesses should seek advice from a lawyer, especially when there is intellectual property at stake.
You can also sell your trademark if it is no longer of value to you or your brand. For those purchasing a trademark, it can be cost-effective to invest in brands that are already established. This will allow you to save money on market testing and development, while avoiding associated startup costs.
When seeking advice from an attorney, also be sure to ask about cybersquatter infringement. Under the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, a trademark owner can sue when people use their trademark with bad intentions. Once again, this is why legally registering your trademark is imperative to long-term growth and success. If you want to protect your brand, this process should not be overlooked.
If you need help with business trademarks, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies such as Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.
As a bottom line, yes you can certainly purchase a trademark form someone else, but you should be very careful that you are purchasing valid rights and that you have them transferred over to you properly.
The domestic segment includes all operations in every U.S state, district, and territory. Domestically, Best Buy operates under different brand names and trademarks. These include Best Buy, Best Buy Mobile, Magnolia Audio Video, Geek Squad, Pacific Sales, and Napster.
It is worth mentioning that a trademark assignment is not the same as trademark license. When a trademark is licensed to another party, the trademark owner is allowing the licensee to use the trademark for a limited time after paying a royalty fee. On the other hand, when a trademark is assigned to another party, the rights to that trademark are automatically transferred to the buyer.
One vital difference is that a registered trademark or a filed trademark application can be transferred separately from or in conjunction with the goodwill of the business for which the trademark is associated with. An example of this occurrence is when one division of a big company is sold.
In this particular circumstance, the buyer must make sure the validity of the sold trademark will not be affected by the partial assignment. In other words, the distinctiveness of the trademark must not be reduced by the partial assignment. Furthermore, if the sold trademark is associated with other trademarks of its parent company, all the trademarks of the company must be assigned together.
If the trademark is used by the buyer for products that are different from what is listed in the certificate (e.g., electronics), the public may believe that the trademark is now associated with an entirely different product line. As a result of the mix-up, the trademark may become invalid.
In a situation where a trademark owner has re-branded, stopped using a mark or has closed down, it is not advisable to purchase such a trademark. The trademark may still be active, but because it is no longer in use, the owner has abandoned rights in the trademark. The trademark may be pending cancellation for non-use, making it a worthless mark.An individual may purchase an active trademark that has been abandoned if he or she wants to prevent a confusion objection. However, he or she will only be buying a trademark registration certificate.
A trademark registration will grant you the exclusive right to use your trademark across the entire country in which it has been registered. More importantly, it allows you to take legal action to stop anyone else from using your name or any name that can be considered confusing with yours. 59ce067264