How can I buy someone else’s trademark?

In general you can buy someone else’s trademark, but you may also need to buy or license whole product line or business associated with the trademark, along with the goodwill. Purchase of a naked trademark, without the underlining products, technology, may be found to be invalid even if you sign a purchase agreement with the current owner and pay money. The important thing to realize is that, unlike copyright or patents, trademarks have no real value or protection unless they are used with a particular product and embody’s that product qualities and characteristics.

One of the most important goal of the trademark law is to protect consumer and their expectations as to the quality of the product being sold under a trademark. Therefore if you buy someone’s trademark, you need to ensure that any product you start selling under the new purchased mark have the same qualities and characteristics as the product that were sold under this mark by the previous owner. That may necessitate purchasing not only the trademark itself, but also the know-how technology, manufacturing process, or any other information or asset to make sure your product match consumer’s expectation as to the trademark. Of course, if someone is using a particular word as trademark it does not necessarily mean you need to buy a trademark in order to be able to use same mark on unrelated products, as long as there is no confusion in the market place.

How it works in the clothing category?

First of all, you need to confirm whether it is a registered trademark. If not you need to confirm that you can buy someone else’s trademark or not, and who the owner of the unregistered trademark is and whether anyone else has the right to it, which is usually a very difficult task, if it is a registered trademark, go to the trademark registry to confirm who the owner of the registered trademark is. You don’t want to deal with the wrong person. The deal was that Apple, through the SPV, purchased all “Ipad” trademark owned by the Taiwan Company worldwide. The Taiwan Company did not know that it was Apple who purchased this trademark so the price was not very high. However, Apple did not realize that the “Ipad” trademark in the Mainland China was actually registered in the name of a subsidiary company of the Taiwan Company in Shenzhen, and Apple did not apply to officially register the assignment of the trademark in the Mainland China. Naturally, when Apple launched the IPad in the Mainland China, the Chinese subsidiary company of the Taiwan Company stopped the sale of IPad in the Mainland China and asked for significant compensation. Eventually, Apple had to pay a lot of money to settle the case with it in order to be able to sell IPad in the Mainland China. So, a couple things you should learn from this case regarding the trademark

So, a couple things you should learn from this case regarding the trademark assignment:

• Deal with the right person.
• Prepare a good contract that can protect your interest.
• Go through formal registration formalities to publicize and confirm your rights to the trademark.