Property, intangible

a blog about ownership of intellectual property rights and its licensing


  • A Wasting Asset

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) oversees multiple federal programs established by Congress to promote certain agricultural commodities. These programs are funded by “checkoffs” — mandatory assessments that producers and importers pay on the sale or import of the commodity. The assessments are used to pay for a range of activities, including research and marketing… Continue reading

  • Update: All the Wrong Reasons

    Update: I previously reported on Sebastian Brown Prods. LLC v. Muzooka Inc., a fairly routine trademark priority dispute with a troubling holding. In it, the district court wrote out the last sentence of Section 10 of the Lanham Act, essentially holding that an intent-to-use application cannot be assigned until the trademark is in use. As… Continue reading

  • All the Wrong Reasons

    In a recent Trademark Reporter Commentary, I went on a tirade about a two district court cases that, in my view, misinterpreted Section 10 of the Lanham Act. Section 10 generally prohibits assignment of intent-to-use applications “except for an assignment to a successor to the business of the applicant, or portion thereof, to which the… Continue reading

  • Assigning the “Goodwill”

    There are several meanings to the word “goodwill,” depending on the context. This ambiguity was the basis for Axiom Worldwide, Inc. v. HTRD Group Hong Kong Ltd. The plaintiff Axiom Worldwide, Inc. (Axiom Inc.) registered trademarks, obtained authorizations from the Food and Drug Administration, and “created its own intellectual property” (those are the court’s words,… Continue reading

  • Why Trademark Lawyers Should Work M&A

    It’s common in many industries for a company to be named after its partners. The names both individually and as part of the firm name develop goodwill, which makes it a challenge when an individual departs – how do you divvy it up? Not how it was done in Basile Baumann Prost Cole & Assocs.,… Continue reading

  • It’s the Little Things

    There’s a pretty interesting older decision about ownership of the “MG” (as in cars) trademark that serves up some good drafting lessons. The story starts with the failure of the MG Rover Group, owner of the “MG” mark. The Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corporation (“NAC China”) bought the MG brand, but a man named William Riley… Continue reading

  • Will the Real MG Please Stand Up

    The IP Finance blog has an excellent post on pitfalls in the sale of trademarks out of bankruptcy. The whole article is useful (and good advice on both sides of the Atlantic), but the most interesting part is the story of how the family of MG marks was split, so that one mark went to… Continue reading

  • The Melody Can Barely be Heard

    Class 46 brings our attention to the auction of a Spanish brand for a department store chain “Galerías Preciados.” Fogasa, an agency of the Spanish Ministry of Labor and Education, acquired the family of marks as the result of a bankruptcy. Fogasa has tried to auction the brand three times; in 1997 the value was… Continue reading

  • NY Times on Revival of Brands

    There’s an interesting NYT article that attributes the resurgence of revived brands (blogged here) to tougher economic times – it’s cheaper to revive than build from scratch. © 2008 Pamela Chestek Continue reading

  • Assigning “Goodwill”

    In the United States, an assignment of a trademark is invalid if the “goodwill” is not also assigned with the mark, but there’s no requirement that any tangible assets be transferred. So what exactly does it mean when agreements recite something like “Assignor does hereby assign to Assignee all rights, title and interest in and… Continue reading