• Bona Fide Purchaser in Good Faith

    by  • September 2, 2010 • trademark

    ZDNet reports that there will be a new “Commodore 64” computer. It’s being described in a press release (scroll to August 25, 2010 entry) as an updated computer in “an exact replica of the original beige chassis Commodore C64.”

    Original Commodore 64.  Photo: Bill Bertram (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Pixel8).
    Photo licensed under CC-BY-SA

    But hat tip to whoever had to figure out who owned the rights to the trademark “Commodore.”  The Register runs it down for us:

    The Commodore name is controlled by an outfit called Commodore Licensing BV, now a subsidiary of a public corporation known as Asiarim, and Altman [of Commodore USA] says he signed an agreement with Commodore Licensing BV earlier this month.

    Which only begins to describe that labyrinthine history of the Commodore name. Neither Altman’s nor Asiarim’s company should be confused with the original Commodore International, the Jack Tramiel-run company that introduced the C64 in 1982.

    . . .
    Commodore International declared bankruptcy in 1994, and over the next several years, the rights to the Commodore name bounced across several European outfits. First, they went to a German retailer known as Escom. Then they moved to the Netherlands-based Tulip Computers. Then they were purchased by another Dutch outfit, Yeahronimo, which eventually changed its name to…Commodore International.

    This Commodore International lives on in the form of legal entities such as Commodore Licensing BV and Asiarim. At one point, BV licensed the name to a Dutch outfit calling itself Commodore Gaming, a company founded in 2005 with the intention of “re-launching the classic Commodore 64 experience on various platforms.” At first, Barry Altman attempted to license the famous name from Commodore Gaming, not realizing it was merely a licensee.

    Virtually none of these transactions are reflected in the PTO assignment database.

    Commodore USA LLC website.

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