Expired trademark

Posted by . updated on 11/11/2009
I am a retailer of a product and have been approached by the manufacturer to purchase their company.

The company manufactures one product. The product was patented in 1968 and has long expired. The product was trademarked in 1964 but expired in 1984.

I am only interested in purchasing the rights to the product and none of the companies aging equipment. They do not have a large customer base or large annual sales since the company has gone downhill after the original owner/inventor died. The widow runs the company and she wants to sell it.

My question is, what of value do they have to sell? They no longer hold a patent. Do they still hold a tm because the product has been used in commerce during the last 3 years despite the expired tm?

Would I have any rights to the tm if I registered the expired tm? Could I register the tm and begin manufacturing and selling the product? 

Would she have a good case to sue me for tm infringement?
Answers (1)
 
JSonnabend
Trademarks don't "expire", although registrations can.  If the mark is still distinctive and still in use, then the company likely still has trademark rights in it.  If the goodwill in the mark (assuming there is goodwill) is going to form part of the value of the acquisition, it would make sense to have a qualified TM attorney review the situation and advise you.

- Jeff
 

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In Expired Trademarks    -  updated on 11/11/2009
I am a retailer of a product and have been approached by the manufacturer to purchase their company.

The company manufactures one product. The product was patented in 1968 and has long expired. The product was trademarked in 1964 but expired in 1984.

I am only interested in purchasing the rights to the product and none of the companies aging equipment. They do not have a large customer base or large annual sales since the company has gone downhill after the original owne...