Who can own a trademark?

Posted on by bisonrivers

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Practical Brand Ownership issues to consider. This month as part of our ongoing feature, we are considering “Who can own a Trademark”?

It is fundamental that the ownership of trademark rights is sorted out in order to protect the trademark assets as well as their owners. The name that appears on the register will be that of the trademark owner and any contentious matters relating to the trademark will generally need to be initiated or defended by the owner. There are different types of trademarks that certify standards or are used by a collective group. Careful consideration therefore needs to be given to identify who, or which entity, should own the rights.

Who can own a trademark?

  • A company;
  • A company, which holds and administers the assets but is separate from the trading entity;
  • A partnership;
  • A charity;
  • An association whose members use the same trademark to distinguishes their goods and services from those of other undertakings (collective trademarks);
  • An organisation whose members use  a trademark for goods and services that are certified by the owner of the mark to be of a certain quality or standard (certification trademarks);
  • An individual, or group of individuals.

Next month we will be looking at “Succession”.

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