Trademark Assignment Agreement

Trademark Assignment Agreement Template

Utilize our Trademark Assignment Agreement to facilitate the transfer of a trademark to a new owner.

A Trademark Assignment Agreement is a formal written document used to legally transfer ownership of a recognized trademark, including words, phrases, symbols, and designs, from the current owner (the "Assignor") to the future owner (the "Assignee").

This agreement may also be referred to by alternative names, such as:

  • Assignment of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement
  • Assignment and Transfer Agreement
  • Intellectual Property (IP) Assignment
  • Transfer of Trademark Rights
  • Trademark Purchase and Assignment Agreement

Table of Contents

Understanding the Trademark Assignment Agreement

A Trademark Assignment Agreement serves as a crucial legal tool for transferring ownership of a valuable brand symbol. Despite being intangible, a trademark holds significant value because it instantly connects consumers to certain brand qualities. Through this agreement, a business owner can effectively pass on the goodwill associated with their brand to another party.

It's important to note that the term "trademark" encompasses both trademarks and service marks. While trademarks identify products or goods, service marks distinguish services provided. It's essential to distinguish between registering a trading name and registering a trademark.

In addition to words, phrases, and logos, a trademark can encompass various elements such as slogans, names, scents, product or container shapes, and even distinctive combinations of musical notes. For instance, as established in the 1995 US Supreme Court case Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Products Co., Inc., even color can function as a trademark if it serves as a distinct symbol.

When Is a Trademark Assignment Agreement Necessary?

A Trademark Assignment Agreement serves as the essential documentation for transferring ownership of a trademark or service mark. This transfer is typically required when another individual or organization is involved in buying or selling a product or a company.

There are two main types of trademarks that can be transferred:

  1. Federally Registered:
    • Uses the registered trademark symbol (R) or ®
    • Formally registered with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office)
    • Offers enhanced rights because the public is informed through registration
    • The mark is listed in the USPTO's Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)
  1. Common Law or Unregistered:
    • Uses the trademark symbol (TM) or ™
    • Uses the service mark symbol (SM) or ℠ for service marks
    • Brand names and logos are automatically protected when used in regular business operations

What are the Consequences of Neglecting a Trademark Assignment Agreement?

The absence of a Trademark Assignment Agreement leaves the ownership of the mark uncertain, and this oversight can lead to significant repercussions. Trademarks are integral to a company's assets and should be managed as valuable property.

For Assignors:

  • Loss of Time: Invested in proving the mark wasn't transferred.
  • Loss of Money: Potential loss due to another entity using the mark without compensation.
  • Mental Anguish: Harm to business goodwill and potential customer confusion.

For Assignees:

  • Loss of Time: Involvement in a more challenging burden of proof regarding the trademark's transfer.
  • Loss of Money: Inability to leverage the goodwill associated with a valuable mark.
  • Mental Anguish: Potential difficulties in obtaining federal registration and the receipt of cease and desist letters.

What are the Key Scenarios Requiring a Trademark Assignment Agreement?

A Trademark Assignment Agreement is essential in various situations involving both current trademark owners and future trademark owners. Here are some common scenarios:

For Current Trademark Owners (Possible Assignors):

  1. Startup Company: Transferring rights to a larger business.
  1. Business Being Acquired: Handing over trademark ownership to the acquiring company.
  1. Company Winding Down Its Assets: Preparing to transfer assets to a growing company.
  1. Company Merging with Another: Combining trademark assets in a merger.

For Future Trademark Owners (Possible Assignees):

  1. Larger Business: Acquiring trademark rights from a startup or smaller company.
  1. Growing Company: Acquiring trademark assets from a company winding down its operations.
  1. Company Merging with Another: Integrating trademark assets in a merger.

If you don't intend to transfer complete ownership of the mark, you can explore a Trademark License Agreement. This arrangement grants temporary and limited permission to use the trademark, specifying factors such as duration, specific usage, or geographic scope.

What are the Key Elements to Include in a Trademark Assignment Agreement?

A straightforward Trademark Assignment Agreement should encompass the following crucial components:

  1. Effective Date: Specifies when the trademark transfer becomes official.
  1. Trademark Details: Describes the legally recognized word, phrase, symbol, or design, including the official trademark number (if registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office, "USPTO").
  1. Assignor: Identifies the current owner relinquishing ownership of the mark.
  1. Assignee: Names the future owner acquiring the mark, often in exchange for payment.
  1. Consideration: States the amount of money or value exchanged for the mark.
  1. Warranties: Ensures that the Assignor guarantees their proper ownership and authority to transfer the mark.
  1. Signatures: Requires both Assignor and Assignee signatures to validate the agreement.
  1. Notary Public: Advises notarization if registering the trademark in a foreign country.

Consider these essential questions when drafting a Trademark Assignment Agreement:

  • Who is the current and future trademark owner?
  • What precisely does the mark include, and are there associated registration numbers?
  • Where will any potential disputes be resolved (Governing Law)?
  • When does the official trademark transfer to the new owner?
  • Why does the Assignor possess the right to transfer the mark and its associated goodwill?
  • How much will the Assignee pay to obtain ownership of the mark?

If the trademark is federally registered, it's crucial to record the change of ownership with the USPTO Assignment Recordation Branch. This typically involves a $40 fee, as per the USPTO Fee Schedule. Utilizing the USPTO Recordation Form Cover Sheet for Trademarks is highly recommended when submitting your trademark assignment. Further information about registering a trademark assignment with the USPTO can be found in their Transferring Ownership/Assignments FAQs.


What is trademark assignment agreement?

A trademark assignment serves as a means for the trademark owner to realize the brand's inherent value. Through this process, the assignee gains access to the rights associated with an established brand. Ultimately, trademark assignment benefits both the assignor and the assignee by facilitating business expansion opportunities for each party involved.

What are the essentials of trademark assignment agreement?

Documents to Accompany Trademark Assignment Agreements:

  1. Acknowledgment Receipt: A signed, stamped, and notarized receipt from the assignor confirming the receipt of consideration from the assignee for the trademark assignment.
  1. No Objection Certificate (NOC): A duly stamped and notarized NOC from the assignor, indicating their consent and lack of objection to the trademark assignment.

What is the agreement to transfer trademark ownership?

The assignor and assignee engage in negotiations to establish the terms and conditions of the transfer. This includes defining the trademark, outlining the assignment's scope, and specifying any mutually agreed-upon conditions or restrictions. These negotiated terms are then formally recorded in a legally binding Trademark Assignment Agreement.

Sample For Trademark Assignment Agreement

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