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A Trademark Assignment is a document used when one person owns a registered trademark (like a brand name or logo) and wishes to transfer the ownership of that trademark to another person. Written Trademark Assignments are important, as it's best for both parties to have a memorialized record of the assignment.
Trademark Assignments allow the easy transfer of the mark. They contain all the information needed to record the assignment with the United States Patent Office (USPTO). Recordation with the USPTO is necessary for all registered trademarks that are being transferred, and it is a good way to ensure everything flows smoothly with the assignment.
This is different than a Licensing Agreement, as here, the entirety of the mark is being transferred to a new party. In a Licensing Agreement, the mark still belongs to the original owner, but the other party pays royalties for permission to use it.
This is also slightly different than an Intellectual Property Release. Although that form could be used for a trademark, generally it is used for copyrighted material, like works of art or pieces of music. In that case, payment is not made and instead, the copyrighted works are simply "released," or given, to another party.
This document can also be distinguished from an Intellectual Property Permission Letter, as there, one party is writing to request permission to use the intellectual property of another. A Licensing Agreement or Intellectual Property Release or even Trademark Assignment could come after the Intellectual Property Permission Letter, but that is not a formal legal document, and is instead, a template for a letter to be used to have the initial conversation about intellectual property use.
How to use this document
This document can be used to transfer the ownership of an existing trademark or when an individual would like an existing trademark transferred to them, as long as the owner agrees. It should be used when both parties understand that the trademark will be completely assigned (in other words, this is not a license, as noted above, and no royalties will be due after the assignment) and wish to create a record of their agreement.
This document will allow the parties to fill in details of the mark to be transferred, as well as ensure that everything needed for recordation with the USPTO is present. Either party - either the person assigning the trademark or the person receiving the trademark - can fill out this form.
Once the form is complete, the parties can undertake the following steps:
1) Sign and execute the form in front of a notary (both parties)
2) Have the notarization completed
3) Record the Trademark Assignment with the United States Patent and Trademark Office
Trademark Assignments are related to the trademark law of the United States, which is covered by a federal statute called the Lanham Act. The section of the Lanham Act specifically referring to assignments is 15 U.S.C. § 1060(a).
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