Internet trademark auctions are virtual marketplaces where people buy and sell registered trademarks from around the world. Some of these auction websites attempt to sell U.S. trademark registrations. Many of these registrations are invalid and worthless.

Make sure you are buying the mark + its goodwill:

Goodwill is an intangible asset that is part of the value of the trademark owner’s business. It is the value of the reputation of the company and product or service that consumers associate with the trademark.

A U.S. trademark registration and the underlying trademark must be sold with its associated goodwill to transfer any rights in the trademark. Failure to do so will invalidate the trademark transfer, which means you will not actually own the subject trademark registration.

Make sure you are buying a valid registration:
If you buy an invalid trademark registration you likely will not have any protectable rights in the trademark registration. Transfer of a trademark does not fix an invalid registration, whether you knew about the defect or not. For example:

  • If the purchased registration was obtained fraudulently, it may become the subject of cancellation, expungement, or reexamination proceedings. An example of a fraudulent filing is where the seller knowingly falsely provides a signed statement to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office that the mark is in use in commerce to obtain the registration, when in fact it is not. Not only will the purchaser have bought an empty asset, but it may also become subject to surprise legal or administrative proceedings.
  • If there is evidence that the registration was part of a scheme to violate U.S. trademark law or USPTO rules, the registration may face administrative sanctions and invalidation.

Do your due diligence:
Consider consulting your trademark attorney who can research whether the trademark registration is valid, evaluate the protectability of the trademark, advise you on ensuring the transfer is valid and handle the necessary transactions in support of the transfer.

Understanding Trade Dress Protection: Essentials for Brands

Dive into the world of trade dress protection and learn how it can safeguard your brand’s unique visual identity. Find out when and why it’s crucial for your business.

Why DIY Trademark Registration Is Risky: Expert Advice

Unveiling the hidden challenges of DIY trademark registration. Learn how expert guidance can save time, money, and secure your brand’s future.

Key Trademark Abandonment Case: Adamson v. Peavey Analysis

Explore the pivotal Adamson v. Peavey case, a precedent in trademark law. Learn how minimal sales led to a finding of trademark abandonment.

State vs. Federal Trademark Registration: What You Need to Know

Discover the strategic decision behind choosing state trademark registration. Learn its benefits, limitations, and how it compares to federal options.

Understanding Trademark Application Types: ITU vs. Use-Based

Dive into the distinct world of U.S. trademark applications. Discover when to opt for an ITU or use-based application and the legal intricacies involved.

The Essential Guide to Certification Marks: Unlocking the Power of Quality Standards

Discover the world of certification marks, a key tool for confirming quality and standards. Understand their importance across industries and the registration process.

Navigating the Pitfalls of Trademark Filing: Essential Tips for Success

Trademark filing can be fraught with hidden pitfalls. Learn how to identify reputable firms and avoid costly mistakes in your trademark application process.

Top 5 Trademark Rulings of 2023: Essential Insights and Impact

Dive into the groundbreaking trademark rulings of 2023. This article sheds light on major legal shifts and practical takeaways in trademark law.

Navigating USPTO Wait Times: The Strategic Advantage of Early Trademark Filing

Facing extended wait times at the USPTO? Discover why filing your trademark application early is more crucial than ever. Learn about the strategic advantages and legal benefits of early filing in our latest article.

Understanding Trademark Infringement

Discover the intricate factors that define trademark infringement, from mark similarity to consumer sophistication. Learn how these elements influence the outcome of infringement cases.