Trademark assignment/transfer refers to changing trademark ownership from A to B. The assignor and assignee need to file assignment application with China Trademark Office (CTMO), and after approval, CTMO will issue a certificate of assignment. The assignee B could use the certificate of assignment together with the original registration certificate to testify that it is the current registrant of concerned mark.
What are the misunderstandings in trademark assignment
Assignment due to contract
This type of assignment refers to the condition where registrant A and purchaser B signed a trademark assignment contract but they do not file assignment application with CTMO. Once there is any dispute, CTMO will not support B as the trademark owner. So A still has the right deal with its mark but it may bear responsibilities of breaking the contract.
Assignment due to inheritance
This type of assignment refers to the condition where registrant A and another B company are related (such as parent company and subsidiary; head company and branches), and when A resolves, B will not automatically inherit the trademarks owned by A. A and B need to file assignment application with CTMO and after approval, B will become new trademark owner and can exercise complete trademark rights.
Assignment due to court judgments
This type of assignment refers to the condition where the court judgment requests that the trademark owned by registrant A should be owned by B. But if B would like to exervise complete rights over the concerned mark, it still needs to file assignment application with CTMO. The court judgment is effective to only A and B, and if B wants to enjoy exclusive right, it must obtain the approval from CTMO.
All in all, except trademark application, one can obtain trademark ownership through assignment only. And the assignee could finally own the concerned mark with exclusive and complete right only after obtaining approval of CTMO.
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