Practical Brand Ownership issues to consider.

Posted on by bisonrivers

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This month, as part of our ongoing feature, we are considering Succession for Companies and Groups of Individuals.

When you start a business where do you envisage it ending up? Many businesses are developed with the principle aim of selling, when the time is right. Family businesses, on the other hand, may remain for generations under the control of various family members.

Succession is something that needs to be considered regularly and plans made to ensure that the business is protected for the future.

If a company is sold, the IP rights in its trademarks will generally pass to a new owner as part of the sale. The transfer requires a formal assignment of the rights and the transfer should be recorded on the UK and Community Trademarks Registers within 6 months, in order to ensure that the rights in the marks can be implemented and are not damaged.

If a group of individuals owns the trademarks then consideration needs to be given to what will happen if one or more people leave the business. A written agreement signed by all of the owners should be in place as soon as possible after the business starts trading. We strongly recommend that any agreement should be professionally drawn up. All too often disputes arise over who owns what in a business that turns sour, or an individual unexpectedly dies. A solid agreement can prevent argument and provide a clear resolution to disputes.

Next month we will be looking at Succession where a Company appoints a liquidator.

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