Who should be listed as the owner of a trademark application?

A trademark registration may be invalid if the owner is not the person or entity that controls the nature and quality of the goods and services provided under the trademark.

All too often shareholders and executives of companies file for trademark registration in their own personal names, rather than their LLC or corporation, thinking that they will have some degree of asset protection that they may not otherwise have or leverage over business partners. In reality, by doing such, they have simply paid for an application that is likely void and unenforceable.

If an LLC, corporation, partnership, non-profit, sole proprietorship or other legal entity exists and is the entity providing the trademarked goods and services, it must be listed as the owner of the trademark. This rule also includes LLCs and corporations where there is only one shareholder or owner as the LLC and corporation are legally distinct from the individual owner.

If an entity has not been formed for the purposes of providing the trademarked goods and services, then the owner should be listed as the individual or individuals who are providing the goods and services under the mark. Note that if you plan on forming a corporation or other entity at a later date, it is possible to transfer the trademark to the newly formed business at a later date.

Please contact us with any questions about ownership

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