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Trademarks as per the Trademark Act of 1999 are specific symbols, signs, colors, marks, etc., capable of being represented graphically and which distinguish the goods or services of one person from those of others. In a highly competitive demand-driven market, it is quite important that a business person is able to distinguish his or her products and services from the other similar products and services, that’s why businesses develop their trademark. One most common example of a type trademark is a brand name, which becomes synonymous to the product they deal in or the sector in which it works like Microsoft or Android is synonymous to operating systems or Uber to mobile taxis.
Trademarks are essentially legal rights granted to a certain person, trademark is actually a creative concept lacking a singular tangible form, hence they cannot really be sold but the underlying rights can be assigned to a person, such assignment can take for whole or limited rights in relation to the trademark, the instrument used for such assignment is referred to a trademark assignment agreement.
1. Are trademark assignment agreements necessary to effectuate an assignment?
Under the Trademarks Act 1999, section 2(1)(b) an assignment is an assignment in writing by an act of the parties. Therefore, to effectuate an assignment, it is necessary it is done so in writing thereby making a trademark assignment a necessity under the Trade Marks Act.
2. Can unregistered trademarks be assigned under a trademark assignment agreement?
Under section 39 of the Trademarks Act, a person holding rights in an unregistered trademark may assign, with or without the goodwill of the business concerned.
3. Can registered users under the Trade Marks Act 1999 assign trademarks?
Section 54 of the Trade Marks Act states that a person, being a registered user of a trademark may not assign or transfer any rights in the trademark by virtue of being a registered user.
4. What should one pay attention to in a trademark assignment agreement?
A copyright license agreement should contain the following terms: