Marques Class 46 Blog reports on a decision out of Poland that I struggle with conceptually. There were three joint owners of the trademark SILMENT. One of the joint owners assigned 1.65% of his 33% ownership to his son.
This is where I’m struggling. What does an approximate 1/2% ownership interest in a trademark actually mean? What rights or benefits accrue to a 1/2% owner? What role in the business did the son play, if any? I would understand if there was a royalty-bearing licenses for the mark and the father was providing income for the son, but in that situation an assignment of a portion of the income stream, rather than the actual ownership of the mark, would suit the purpose better. Perhaps the father wanted to give the son a portion of his interest in the company and was stymied, but again I’m not sure what giving him a small percentage of the ownership of the trademark accomplishes.
The Polish Patent Office recorded the assignment and one of the other two owners objected. We learn two things: first, in the case of joint ownership all the joint owners have to consent to the assignment, although its not clear in the reporter’s summary whether the decision was based on law or the terms of the joint ownership agreement.
Second, we learn that the role of the Polish Patent Office is to reflect the legal status, but it does not have authority to determine ownership. Questions about interpretation must be referred to a civil court.
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